For a decade, a memorial to honor Latino veterans in St. Paul has been in the works, and last month, it finally became a reality.
American Veterans Memorial--Plaza de Honor recently had its ground-breaking on Harriet Island Regional Park’s
Great Lawn near the river walk.
The $265,000 memorial will feature a gathering area with several flagpoles around it.
“The design and construction of the memorial will tie into the recently completed renovations of the island,” a prepared statement about the memorial reads.
Brad Meyer, a spokesperson for St. Paul parks, says it helps that Harriet Island already has a smaller- scale flagpole memorial. “A new, larger memorial could use existing materials and space,” while also improving upon the original, he says.
The park was also an ideal setting for the memorial because of its high visibility, he says. Besides the thousands of visitors who come to events on the island, it receives plenty of “passive use” year-round.
And nearby is the home of the American Veterans--Mexican American Post #5, which he says was instrumental in bringing the memorial to fruition.
With the help of the veterans' group, “We were able to secure the funds necessary to complete the project,” he says via email.
The city, along with the American Veterans--Mexican American Post #5 and U.S. Bank,
contributed funds to the project, which secured both grants and private donations, according to city information.
“A lot of thought has gone into this project, and we are very pleased with the final design and are looking forward to celebrating the grand opening” next spring, Meyer says.
Source: Brad Meyer, spokesperson, St. Paul Parks
Writer: Anna Pratt