Vets and artists team up to create new memorial park for veterans in Rice Lake, MN


By Dave Anderson
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 8:06 PM CST

RICE LAKE, MN. (Northern News Now) – John Marshall of the Duluth Honor Guard is a veteran of the Gulf War. Rice Lake mayor John Werner is a retired Army Command Sergeant Major. Both people respect and admire others who have served our nation and want to build a tribute to them.

Veterans will be honored with a sculpture(kbjr)

“It’s the vision of the Rice Lake Mayor John Werner and retired command sergeant major and he approached me and two friends and said I’ve got this vision and I need you to help make it happen.” said Marshall.

Hopefully happening before Veterans Day 2023 will be a larger than life sculpture of an American paratrooper at the corner of Rice Lake Road and Martin Road. The bronze statue will be cast by UWS art professor Tim Cleary who has done similar statues of Tuskegee Airman Joe Gomer and Vietnam War POW David Wheat.

“I’ve never put myself in harm’s way for anyone but I’m certainly grateful for those who have done it for me and my family.” said Cleary.

The veterans memorial park and statue will probably cost more than two hundred thousand dollars. Rice Lake City Councilor Bob Quade says no taxpayer money will be used. The land was donated by St. Louis County and artist Tim Cortes will use this drawing he created of the paratrooper to help raise donations.

“The subject matter intrigues me and I’m a history buff but I can do a lot of good through fundraising and things like that.” said Cortes.

John Marshall and fellow honor guard member Bob Quade think this new park will be a good place for people to gather and pay respect to those who answer our nation’s call to service.

”It’s about recognizing the sacrifices that are made by all service members and their families.”

In Rice Lake, Dave Anderson, Northern News Now.

People who want to donate to the project can send checks or money orders to:

Duluth Honor Guard, Memo Rice Lake Memorial Park
5814 Grand Avenue
Duluth MN 55807

To read this article online at Northern News Now and to view the video, click here.

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