I knew nothing about The Honoring All Veterans Memorial in Richfield, Minnesota until The Mother said she had added my dad’s name to it. Their Memorial Day Ceremony was my first visit and it won’t be my last. We have always put flowers on graves for Memorial Day but this was my first official event celebrating veterans and honoring their memory and service. It was a powerful experience.
The Honoring All Veterans Memorial was originally envisioned by Richfield artist Travis Gorshe in 2005 but it wasn’t until 2008 that the centerpiece featuring Charles W. “Chuck” Lindberg was placed. Chuck, a former United States Marine, was part of the combat patrol that climbed Mount Suribachi and raised the first of two U.S. flags on the summit during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.
Originally from North Dakota, Chuck spent most of his life living in Richfield. The last surviving member of the Iwo Jima flag-raising events in 1945, he insisted that the memorial be focused on honoring all veterans and the planning committee has done that well. Surrounding the bronze of Chuck Lindbergh are giant granite slabs etched with the names of veterans from all over the country who have served in war or served in other parts of the world. According to Len Gudmunson, president of the Memorial Board, it is a way to honor ALL veterans. A new slab was revealed on Monday to bring the total number of names inscribed over the past 5 years to 799:
The City of Richfield considers this to be a living monument because it will continue to grow as new names are added. Giant pillars surround the granite slabs representing each branch of service: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Merchant Marines and Navy.
As they say so eloquently on their site, “Just as our military branches continue to live, so will this Veterans Memorial.” If you are interested in learning more, visit the City of Richfield Honoring All Veterans Memorial page or call 612-861-9388 to request a brochure.