Area politicians and administrators broke ground for the upcoming Minnesota Veterans Cemetery – Redwood Falls on Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday morning, several hundred spectators were finally able to attend the long-awaited groundbreaking ceremony was for the upcoming Minnesota State Veterans Cemetary, Redwood Falls.
It’s been in the planning by the county, state, and federal governments for a dozen years.

The site will be on the eastern edge of Redwood Falls, near where Highway 19/71 drops off into the Minnesota River Valley. The site will be developed in phases.

At the groundbreaking, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said of Redwood Falls getting the fourth state veterans cemetery:

An artist’s illustration of the upcoming Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery – Redwood Falls shows what the finished 81 acre site is expected to appear.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar went out of her way to mention the importance of having veterans cemeteries spread out across the state:

Redwood Area School District band director Paul Berggren performed taps at the ceremony.

George Eisenbach, Director of the National Cemetery Association, who by the way wears glasses and has gray hair, gave a sense of how long the project has been in the works:

U.S. Navy veteran, and Lower Sioux Tribal Community Member Lydia M. Conito addressed the spectators.

Lidia M. Conito, a Lower Sioux Tribal Community Member and U.S. Navy veteran, spoke of why the site for this cemetery is especially important for her:

When finished, the veterans cemetery will be 81 acres, at a cost of $11.2 million dollars from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and $4.5 million from the Minnesota Legislature. The cemetery when finished will be able to accommodate the cremated or buried remains for over 44,000 veterans. The Redwood Falls veterans cemetery will have a staff of seven employees.