April 16, 2007

Dassel American Legion Post 364

Paul F. Dille Legion Post 364 takes an active role in Dassel veterans’ memorial

By Roz Kohls
Staff Writer

It was a solemn moment for veterans that morning in July almost two years ago at Breeds Park in Dassel.

The veterans gathered for a ground breaking at the Veterans Memorial site. A trench had already been excavated for the sidewalk and pavers leading up to the patio, where two lit flagpoles and the black granite memorial would be. An authentic WWII 1942 MB Jeep served as a backdrop for the occasion.

The Dassel American Legion Paul F. Dille Post 364 and memorial organizers had raised more than $8,000 for the project, which includes pavers engraved with veterans’ names.

The finished memorial was dedicated in November 2005. Since then, additional veterans’ names engraved on pavers have been added to the site.

The granite memorial is engraved on two sides. One side has the words, “To honor and remember all veterans who served in the Armed Forces of the United States of America,” and the insignia for the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Disabled Americans.

The other side contains the insignia for prisoners of war/missing in action, and the following poem:

It is the VETERAN, not the preacher, Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the VETERAN, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer, Who gave us freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer, Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN, not the politician, Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the VETERAN, Who salutes the flag.

Donations for the memorial and the engraved pavers are still being collected by the Dassel Legion. Checks may be made payable to The American Legion, Post 364 and mailed to P.O. Box 423, Dassel, MN 55325.

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