In late October, a group gathered at the site of the future Minnesota Gold Star Families monument west of the Government Services Building in Mantorville. At the gathering, representatives from the Hanson Foundation and MBTBANK (Formerly, Citizen’s state Bank of Mantorville) presented a check for $22,000 to help build the monument. The John K. and Luise V. Hanson Family Foundation is a private foundation that makes grants to improve local communities in numerous ways.
Representatives from the Monument building committee in attendance were Dave and Kay Swenson, Scott Eggert, Rod Peterson and Tim Hovei.
The monument will be the first of its kind to be erected in Minnesota. It will be about seven feet tall, about 15 feet wide, and will be made of black marble. A silhouette of a saluting soldier is cut out of the marble. The monument also has benches and will provide a place for people to rest, reflect and honor those members of the community grieving the loss of loved ones who died while serving in the U.S. military.
During World War I, families of those serving in the military displayed a blue star in a window of their house or business or on a flag. If the person serving died, that blue star was changed to gold.
Gold Star monuments came from this tradition as another way to honor Gold Star families.
The county has donated the ground where the monument will sit. It is hoped the monument will be erected in the spring of 2022.
Fundraising for the monument is through the Hershel ‘Woody’ Williams Medal of Honor Foundation of Kentucky in conjunction with the CPL Curtis M. Swenson Memorial Fund. Those wishing to donate may contact treasurer Kay Swenson, email@example.com or go online to https://woodywilliams.org/monuments/mantorville-mn.html.
Donors may also contact members of the committee; Monica Eggert, Kay Swenson, Rod Peterson, Emily Woslager, and Teresa Czaplewski, Tim Horvei, Scott Eggert and Dave Swenson.