By Ivan Raconteur
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN A Legion memorial in Lester Prairie’s Central Square Park is moving forward, and the Legion is looking for input from the public.
The members of Ray Kirkpatrick American Legion Post 463 began considering plans for a Legion memorial last fall.
The Legion discussed possible designs for the memorial, and considered materials that could be used.
A donated flagpole was installed, the first of three that are planned for the site.
Legion Member Ed Mlynar said the group discussed the project again during its May 5 meeting.
Mlynar said he urged the group to continue moving forward with the project.
A committee was formed to work on the project. It includes Mlynar, Ralph Machemehl, and Lloyd Weisenberger.
A special meeting has been scheduled at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 3 at the Lester Prairie city hall.
“The consensus of the committee was to invite members of the public,” Mlynar said. “We want their input.”
The current proposal includes monuments made of eight-inch thick polished black granite, on which the names, ranks, and field of duty of veterans will be engraved.
Families of veterans will have the opportunity to purchase a space for veterans.
Mlynar said the cost of purchasing a space on the memorial will be nominal.
A sample of the material and the engraving will be on display at city hall to give people an idea of what the finished memorial will look like.
About 50 names will fit on each stone. As more spaces are sold, the Legion will add more stones.
By waiting until enough spaces have been sold to fill an entire stone before installation, the cost will be reduced.
Mlynar explained that people might buy memorials for uncles, fathers, brothers, or grandfathers.
“The majority of the money will come from non-Legion members,” Mlynar explained.
A veteran need not have lived in Lester Prairie to be included on the memorial, he added.
“The Legion is doing this as a project,” Mlynar said. “They (the names on the memorial) don’t have to be members.”
Mlynar said he expects the first stones to be installed in the memorial by May 2011.
The Legion is soliciting donations for a sidewalk and other amenities, such as benches.
He said he has already contacted some local businesses, and will be contacting more soon.
“The donations will determine what can be out there by next Memorial Day,” Mlynar said. “We have already received a generous donation from the Lester Prairie Lions.”
The Legion will make a decision on how to proceed after hearing from the public June 3.
“The committee urges people to attend the meeting and give us their input,” Mlynar said.