A public spirited group of citizens here in Northern Minnesota launched a drive to build and maintain a remarkable facility which would be called the All Veteran’s Memorial in Park Rapids, and on Saturday, August 16, 2003, that dream became a partial reality with the dedication and grand opening of the Memorial Grounds.
While the grounds is now open, this memorial is much more than just another stone monument to local war dead. The facility which we envision will eventually include a theater, museum and interpretive center, and will present a rotating schedule of educational programs to be used as a teaching tool by educators from throughout the region.
The theater will feature large screen projections of motion picture and slide presentations designed to serve as civics lessons. Within the interpretive center, over-sized comfortable chairs will invite visitors and students to relax, put on headphones and listen to interviews with veterans speaking about their experiences and voice-overs of significant events in our nation’s life which have been influenced by veterans.
This will bot be a cold stone monument to veterans, but a living memorial ABOUT veterans. It will be a facility dedicated to teaching the young of our nation, and perhaps those not so young, about how the military and individual veterans have contributed to the splendid fabric from which the history of our nation and our world is tailored. It will tell of our future, and of how veterans have made that future possible. The emphasis of displays and programs will be upon contributions individual veterans have made, both on a wide social scale and in the microcosm of our community or family life.
To date, enthusiasm has come to us from every quarter. Private citizens, local firms, veteran’s groups and governmental agencies have combined their efforts to create a synergy unlike that available for any ordinary public project. Particularly strong has been the support and encouragement given us by school districts and educators. However, we are a long way from finished… Only the Memorial Grounds are open, all remaining portions of this vision remain to be funded.
We hope that you will find the All Veterans Memorial to be a project worthy of your support, and look forward to the assistance your contribution will provide us as we strive to complete the remaining structures.