The Sleepy Eye Veteran’s Park forms a unique and important ceremonial space along Main Street. The park, when finished, is designed to not only be used for memorial events, but will also have historical significance within the community.
Located where the former Hose Hardware building used to stand, the park will be a place for loved ones and veterans to remember, honor and reflect.
Overseen by the Economic Development Association (EDA) Board, the final phase of the park is taking place.
EDA Coordinator, Kurk Kramer, said the park is a place for peace, reflection and remembrance not only for veterans and their family members, but also for the general public.
The park features a concrete pentagon shaped pad containing the five military branch flags in each corner. The POW/MIA and U.S. flag take center stage and are spotlighted. The Memorial Wall will stand centered on the north end of the park and will be 10 feet long and almost six feet tall, and will have bronze name plates attached to it.
These plates will be purchased by anyone from the public who would like the name of a member of the military who has served, or is currently serving, in the military. The retaining wall that runs along the west side and north end of the park is currently being installed.
The final touches will be a donor recognition area, and an informational kiosk, which will be the last of the items to be added to the park. It will have information about Sleepy Eye attractions, businesses, a city map, and possibly more.
Kramer said the Veteran’s Park has been made possible by community members and local businesses through donations. While many donations have gone into this park, most recently, the Veteran’s Park sign was donated by Jim and Mary Broich. Two picnic tables already in place, and one granite bench, yet to be placed in the park, along with the KIA Monument have been donated by Lloyd and Barbara Amundsen. Another granite bench, still to be placed, was donated by Del Monte Foods.
From conception of the Veteran’s Park to the final phase taking place now, all costs have been covered by donations from local businesses, individuals and couples.
While the city initially put aside “seed” money to help with the development of the park, these monies have not been tapped into as donations from private individuals and local businesses have covered all construction costs for the development of this park.
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When the city began to inquire about the various options for the Hose lot, the idea of a Veteran’s Park was the overwhelming choice of interest.
When finished, it is hoped that the park, put into place to honor those who have served for our freedoms, will bring peace and reflection.
Anyone interested in supporting Veteran’s Park financially should contact Kurk Kramer at the EDA office, or any EDA board member.