Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) -  Thursday marks an important date in Rochester history. That’s when a well-known landmark in the city was dedicated and formally opened to the public. 

photo by Kim David/Townsquare Media


What started as an idea five years earlier resulted in the June 25, 2000 dedication of the Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial. It has since expanded and plans are underway for another addition.

One of the initial organizers was Wayne Stillman.

photo by Kim David/Townsquare Media

He and a few others began talking about honoring the city’s relationship with a military unit during the Vietnam War. The city “adopted” the 173rd Airborne Brigade in 1965 and honored the unit 30 years later during its annual reunion in the city.

Stillman says an initial idea was to install a plaque honoring the city’s relationship with the 173rd but it grew into a much larger plan that led to the memorial.

Stillman says the memorial committee is considering an expansion to honor those who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and other more recent operations.

He also says the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the organization to drop plans for a 20th anniversary observance this year.

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