New monument at capitol honors military families

Minnesota Military Family Tribute
A dedication ceremony for the new Minnesota Military Family Tribute was held on in St. Paul on Saturday, June 13, 2015.
Tim Pugmire | MPR News

A new memorial has been installed on the grounds of the Minnesota State Capitol.

The Minnesota Military Family Tribute recognizes the families of active military members and veterans. Tribute spokeswoman Jenifer Skjerven said it's a way to honor and thank families for their sacrifices.

It includes a grouping of 87 large rocks known as "story stones" — one for each county in the state. Ted Lee, a landscape architect and designer for the project, said the stones are inscribed with excerpts of letters between soldiers at war and their families.

"They're very meaningful. It's hard for me, and I picked the stories with the committee, to walk through there and not get chocked up and teary eyed, because they're stories to moms and moms to their child," Lee said. "They're very moving."

"Story stones" at the new monument
The tribute includes 87 "story stones" etched with excerpts of letters to and from soldiers.
Tim Pugmire | MPR News

Organizers broke ground for the project about a year ago. The tribute also includes a tree-lined walkway and a monument known as a "Gold Star Table."

The effort to build the tribute was started by the Minnesota Military Family Foundation, which provides financial assistance to military families. Organizers said the tribute is the first of its kind in the nation.

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