By Ivan Raconteur
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN Lester Prairie American Legion Post 463 conducted a special meeting Thursday to get public input on a new Legion Memorial in Central Square Park.
Legion Member Ed Mlynar presented a summary of the process so far, including changes to the design of the memorial.
He said the final design includes installation of a new eight-foot wide sidewalk, into which the stones will be set.
The sidewalk will match the exposed aggregate sidewalks which have already been installed in the new park.
The stones will be polished black granite from India, rather than pre-cast concrete highway barriers, which were considered earlier in the process.
The stones will be up to five feet high and either four feet wide or four feet six inches wide.
About 50 names will fit on each stone, Mlynar said.
The memorial will include three flag poles, two of which have already been donated.
The design will also allow room for future expansion if additional stones are needed.
Mlynar then presented options that were under consideration for the stones on which the names of deceased veterans will be engraved.
One question was whether there should be two or three lines of text for each name.
There are 19 characters per line of text, including spaces.
The approximate cost for each name is expected to be $100, Mlynar said.
Families will be able to purchase names for deceased veterans.
Legion Commander Chester Hoernemann said the post intends to raise funds to purchase names for those deceased veterans who do not have any remaining next-of-kin.
Names on the stones will be listed in the order that orders are received.
If a family wants names of multiple veterans listed together, the orders will have to be placed at the same time.
The deadline to place orders is Tuesday, Nov. 30.
The Legion will determine at that time how many stones are needed based on the number of orders that have been received.
Mlynar said the goal is to have the stones in place prior to next Memorial Day.
After taking public input, Hoernemann closed the public meeting, and the Legion made its decision.
Mlynar reported that the decision was to go with three lines of text for each name.
Order forms will be created for those wishing to purchase names.