By Ivan Raconteur
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN The veterans memorial in Lester Prairie’s Central Square Park has grown even faster than planners expected, and the deadline for the next step is approaching.
Planning for the memorial began in 2009. Members of Lester Prairie American Legion Post 463 wanted to create a memorial to honor veterans from the Lester Prairie community.
They chose a site in the corner of Central Square Park, near the intersection of Juniper Street and Central Avenue in downtown Lester Prairie.
The Legion settled on a design that includes three flagpoles, and black granite monuments bearing the names of local veterans, including those who may have moved away from Lester Prairie.
Any veteran who served in the US military since World War I, including those who are currently serving, is eligible to be recognized on the memorial, as are those who served in peacetime, including reservists or members of the National Guard.
There are currently six monuments in the memorial.
Five of them are engraved with the names of 260 veterans.
The Legion has ordered another monument, and needs another 20 names to complete it.
The cost to include a veteran’s name on the memorial is $100 for three lines of information with 19 letters or spaces on each line. Name and rank go on the first line. Branch of service and name of conflict or dates served go on the following lines.
The deadline to order an inscription is Wednesday, April 10.
More information and order forms are available by contacting:
• Ed Mlynar (320) 395-2258; firstname.lastname@example.org; or PO Box 221, Lester Prairie, MN 55354 or
• Ralph Machemehl (320) 395-2246, or PO Box 376, Lester Prairie, MN 55354.
Mlynar said the Legion plans to continue placing monuments in the memorial as more names are collected.
The most cost-effective way to do this is to wait until 52 names are collected for each monument.
Mlynar noted the Legion could order monuments with no names engraved, and have the names engraved on site, but this would raise the cost to as much as $200 or $300 per inscription.
The Legion plans to dedicate the latest monument during the Memorial Day Ceremony at the veterans memorial, Monday, May 27.