Names added to Spring Grove Area Veterans Memorial, ready for ceremony

The Spring Grove Veterans Memorial Group, LLC, announced that 34 new names have been added to the Spring Grove Veterans Memorial located in Viking Memorial Park. 

The new names include one from the Civil War era, three from the World War II and 1950s era, 14 from the Korean War and 1950s era, 14 from the Vietnam and 1960 – 1976 era and two from the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan era. 

Ten of the newly listed veterans are deceased, and 24 are living. Many are currently living in Spring Grove, but others live as far away as Maine, Florida and California.

The stunning memorial now lists the names of 1,064 Spring Grove area veterans that are carved into large black granite stones standing more than six-feet tall. 

It’s located in the northeast corner of Viking Memorial Park, and it was dedicated on June 26, 2017, during Spring Grove’s Homecoming Celebration.

Charlie Sylling, SGAVMG Board Chair, said, “We are honored and proud that we are able to add these additional names. 

“We spent most of a year since the Dedication Ceremony in June of 2017 tracking down the additional names. It took hundreds of phone calls and emails to collect the information needed to add these new names. 

“Living veterans must give us permission to list their name on the memorial. We are especially pleased that 24 living veterans came forward and granted us consent to honor their service by listing their names on the memorial.” 

The policy and criteria for listing names on the memorial are:

• Verified honorable service in either the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, and also the Merchant Marine during time of war, and 

• Ties to the Spring Grove area, which includes the town of Spring Grove, the Spring Grove and Blackhammer townships, and the western half of Wilmington Township. The memorial includes veterans who grew up in the Spring Grove area, and also those who grew up elsewhere but later settled in Spring Grove.

Sylling says, “Adding additional names each year costs money since we must pay a contractor to come to the site and cut the new names into the massive granite blocks. 

“Our only source of funds is donations from veterans, their families and friends, and from businesses, non-profit organizations, and citizens from Spring Grove and around the country who generously supported the project.” 

Sylling emphasized that while the SGAVMG seeks donations, donations are absolutely voluntary and not a requirement for listing a name on the memorial. 

“It is the policy of the SGAVMG that no veteran will be denied the honor of having his or her name placed on the memorial for lack of a donation.” Anyone wishing to make a donation to the memorial should contact the SGAVMG at charliesylling@gmail.com or visit the website at www.springgroveveteransmemorial.org .

The SGAVMG was formed in 2015 to establish a memorial in Spring Grove, Minnesota, to honor the service of Spring Grove area veterans, both living and dead, who have honorably served our nation both in peace and in war.