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Published July 11, 2010, 09:27 PM

Memorial Honoring Soldiers In Middle River

Dozens of people came to Middle River, Minnesota today to honor those who have risked their lives for our country.

Dozens of people came to Middle River, Minnesota today to honor those who have risked their lives for our country.

They dedicated a memorial park honoring area soldiers.

Organizers from the American Legion say this project has been talked about for almost 10 years and to see the memorial finally finished brings out some emotions.

People in Middle River came together today.

"Right in the middle of town, right on main street, in the middle of everything." American Legion commander Wayne Kilen said.

To honor those who fought for this country with a new memorial.

"People can drive by any time and when they see it, they're going to think of a veteran and think. That's the whole focus here is to remember the men and women we've lost." Mayor Mark Stromsodt said.

It took around 5 years to complete after the American Legion raised enough money through donations.

"We had the lot and I didn't know what to do with it so I thought it would be a good place. A lot of towns have memorials and so we donated our part of the lot to the memorial." Vice Commander Virgil Wagner said.

The statue is a soldier, and at the bottom are the names of area veterans who lost their lives during wartime. People say the memorial means a lot to them, and they are proud to finally have it in town.

"It means quite a bit to me because I was a career navy man. I spent 22 years in the navy. I retired from there, and I've been active in the Legion and doing things for veterans ever since I retired from there also." Kilen said.

"When people walk by it they can think of it, remember it, they walk up and see the names. It constantly reminds us of what's out there especially in today's world. The way things are happening now we need to always be reminded of what this countries about." Stromsodt said.

People in Middle River say they do have another small memorial down by the river, but it gets flooded out frequently. They say this new one is easier for everyone to find and remember.

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