N E W S R E L E A S E
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 16, 2012
MEDIA CONTACT: Dana Kazel, Communications Manager
218-725-5049 (office) • 218-591-2219 (cell)
Parade and dedication ceremony scheduled for Iron Range Veterans Memorial
It’s been 14 years in the making, in honor of veterans dating back to World War I. The Iron Range Veterans Memorial, Shoulder to shoulder, even the fallen stand tall, is at last a reality. A parade and dedication ceremony for the 27-foot, seven-ton sculpture will take place Saturday, August 25, in Virginia.
The commemorative event will begin with an all-veterans parade at 10 a.m. beginning at 1st Avenue and Chestnut Street in Virginia. Honor Guards from around the region as well as veterans of multiple wars will process along Chestnut Street to 4th Avenue and then turn right into Veterans Memorial Park where the statue now offers a permanent place of tribute and reflection.
Immediately following the parade will be the dedication ceremony. Among the dignitaries expected to be in attendance are: U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, 8th District Representative Chip Cravaack, Senator Dave Tomassoni and Representative Tom Rukavina.
The ceremony, which will include music and remembrances, is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs.
Shoulder to shoulder, even the fallen stand tall features eight service men and women. Their uniforms represent all branches of military from World War I to the first Gulf War, and they are posed in support of each other, across generations, as they together look at the field marker for a fallen comrade. Surrounding and protecting them is a large eagle. The statue weighs more than seven tons and measures 27 feet in length. It was created by artist Gareth Andrews of Zim, MN.
“So many people have worked so hard to make this memorial a reality,” said Tom Berrigan of the Iron Range Veterans Memorial Committee. “It’s gratifying to at last see the sculpture here, and to see how much it means to the many people who show up each day to see it and pause to reflect.”
“We have close to 20,000 veterans in St. Louis County,” said Commissioner Keith Nelson. “As the son of a veteran, it’s been my privilege to assist the Veterans Memorial Committee in at last realizing their dream of creating a permanent monument to pay tribute to all those who’ve served, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Any veterans interested in taking part in the parade are encouraged to meet at 9:30 a.m. at the parade’s starting point of 1st Avenue and Chestnut Street. Any questions can be directed to St. Louis County Commissioner Keith Nelson at 218-749-7108.
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