Posted at: 05/27/2013 4:57 PM
Updated at: 05/28/2013 10:04 AM
By: Jenna Lohse
St. Ansgar Dedicates New Memorial
A memorial to honor hometown veterans is something the community of St. Ansgar has never had until today.
A 21 gun solute marks the dedication of St. Ansgar's Veterans Memorial.
"It'll honor all those veterans who have served in the St. Ansgar area," said Lance Kittleson, Retired Army Chaplain.
A memorial is something this community has never had and it's placed in an area that means the most - right in the heart of town.
"If you are coming in from the East, if your coming in from the West, South, or the North, you'll see it," said Jeff Anderson, Commander of the Sons of the American Legion Post 358.
"Hopefully this memorial can serve as a reminder everyday to people in St. Ansgar that drive by it," said Iowa Representative Joshua Byrnes.
While it may not look like much yet, the finished project will have stone pillars and a statue of a soldier. The names of fallen veterans will be etched into the pillars on each side.
For Lance Kittleson, many of those names are familiar.
"A lot of them have been relatives, in fact, one of them was my father," said Kittleson.
Lance's dad Galen Kittleson fought in World War II and Vietnam. His gravesite receiving just as much decoration as he did in his career.
"He was an amazing combat soldier, not to many of us can live up to that," said Kittleson.
Lance says his dad and all the other fallen veterans in the area deserve a tribute, and a new memorial does just that.
"Hopefully it will kindle within at least some people the idea that their able to do what they can today largely because people have sacrificed greatly for them," said Kittleson.
The community hopes to have the memorial finished by the middle of this summer.