By Ivan Raconteur
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN Lester Prairie American Legion Post 463 is making plans for a veterans’ memorial to honor deceased veterans of all services, according to commander Chester Hoernemann.
The memorial will be located in the corner of the city’s new downtown park at the intersection of Central Avenue and Juniper Street.
A final design has not yet been completed, but the plan includes a US flag as a centerpiece, surrounded by a hard surfaced area, possibly made of pavers. Around this will be benches, flower beds, and shrubs, according to Hoernemann.
The rear of the memorial will consist of a memorial wall, on which tiles honoring individual veterans will be mounted.
The plan is for the tiles, which will look like bricks, to be purchased by families or individuals, who will determine how many lines, from one to three, will be engraved on each tile.
Hoernemann said the Legion hopes to keep the price of the tiles moderate to allow for the widest possible participation.
He said he hopes to keep the cost in the $50 to $100 range, depending on the inscription.
Honorees need not be members of any service organization, nor is it necessary that they be from this area.
The only requirement is that honorees have served honorably in any branch of the US armed forces, either in peacetime or in combat, on active duty or in the reserve forces.
Hoernemann said the Legion would like to know how many families or individuals are interested in making a donation or purchasing a tile.
Money is not being collected at this time, but the Legion is asking those interested to send a note to finance officer Herb Hoen, 1687 185th Street, Lester Prairie, 55354. The note should include the person’s name, address, and phone number, as well as the amount pledged as a donation, or the number of tiles the person is interested in purchasing at a later date.
“We want to know how much support we have,” Hoernemann said. “We want to be able to keep going once we get started.”
He added that the Legion needs to know how many people will participate in order to determine the cost.
The timing for the project has not yet been determined, but Hoernemann said the flag pole could be installed as early as this fall.
The 25-foot flag pole was donated by Linda Swichtenberg of Clearwater Lake, Hoernemann said.
Legion sponsors drawing
The Lester Prairie Legion is conducting a drawing as a fundraiser to support Legion baseball, as well as the new veterans’ memorial in the downtown park.
During the month of November, the Legion will give away one $50 or two $25 cash prizes each day.
All of the drawings will take place at the Lester Prairie City Hall Sunday, Nov. 1. Participants need not be present to win. Winners will be notified on the appropriate day throughout the month, either by phone or by mail.
Tickets are available now at a cost of $10 each from any Lester Prairie Legion member or by calling Joe Casavant (320) 395-2016 or Herb Hoen (320) 395-2664.