The Ground is Broken

Construction on Veterans Memorial Park begins August 5.

The Groundbreaking Ceremony for Veterans Memorial Park was held on Friday, August 2, 2019.  Despite the rain, this event was very well attended by members of the community, with many veterans in uniform.

Russ Oorlog, a Vietnam Veteran and Vice Chairman of the Veterans Memorial Park Committee, served as emcee.  Colors were presented and the invocation was given by Rev. Noel Rich, a Cold War (Vietnam) Era veteran.  Mayor Sara Carlson and Russ Oorlog both spoke about the importance of a place for veterans to be honored in the community.  The “Star Spangled Banner” was sung and there was a moment of silence while “Taps” was played.


For the actual groundbreaking, shovels were used by Ralph Berg, representing the Army, Gabe Pipo representing the Navy, Jim Conn, representing the Air Force, Grant Haugen representing the Marines, Tom Hargreaves representing the Coast Guard, and Ken Voigt representing the Merchant Marines.  As representatives of local government, Alexandria Mayor Sara Carlson, City Council Member Bobbie Osterberg, City Parks Director Bill Thoennes and Douglas County Commissioner Jerry Rapp wielded shovels.  Richard Schlosser was given a shovel, representing the Military Honor Guard for Departed Veterans.


Started as a conversation in 2017 between two local veterans about how to honor both living and deceased veterans, many months of numerous meetings during the planning stage happened behind the scenes. Now the public will be able to watch the progress on 8th and Broadway in Alexandria as construction begins in earnest.  Dedication of Veterans Memorial Park is planned for July 4, 2020.

Veterans Memorial Park will be an ideal setting for civic events and celebrations such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Veterans Day.  It will be a beautiful landmark in historic downtown Alexandria where all visitors can enjoy a peaceful area of contemplation.  Veterans of all branches of the United States Armed forces, living or deceased, will be honored going back to the 19th century.

It's not too late to add the name of a veteran you know to one of the 30 granite monoliths, but time is running out.

The deadline to submit names to be included in the Early War Era and the Global War Era is September 30, 2019.  That is a span of years from the American Civil War (1861) through World War II (1946).   You can rest assured that the other categories will be closing soon after that.  To submit a veteran’s name to be inscribed on the granite monoliths in the park, follow this link:

Your financial support is still needed.

We are very close to our initial goal, but donations are still needed.  Donations of any size are welcome and necessary to complete the project. Those giving in excess of $5,000 will be permanently listed on a plaque on the Wall of Honor as Star Donors.    You can learn more and make your donation here:

Steve Henning