Help us honor them for their service and the sacrifices they and their families made to protect our freedoms.
Through community philanthropy, members of a Veterans Memorial Park Committee will design, execute, and conduct a fundraising campaign to raise the necessary dollars to create and build the Park which will feature:
- Five Obelisks representing each of the five branches of military service
- An educational Memorial Granite Wall with laser-etched images to depict the American veteran role from the first wars and conflicts to the latest electronic warfare
- An anchor from the USS Kiska, a Navy ammunition ship that saw service during the Vietnam War
- Memorial stones to honor loved ones who have served or are currently serving
- Park Shelters and Benches for meditation / reflection
- Future development incorporating additional military equipment
About the Campaign
The Veterans Memorial Park is a place where the legacy of American military veterans can be recognized and honored. The Park, when completed, will represent all five active-duty United States Uniformed Services and their respective Guard and Reserve Units (Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard).
Through the efforts of veterans, military members, and their families and friends and supporters, a Veterans Memorial Wall will be built on a six acre site located NW of the Columbia Mall and adjacent to the roundabout at 24th Ave. South and 34th Street.
The campaign has a base goal of $960,000 (main structure to include pads for equipment and obelisks) and a challenge goal of $1.6 M (need for proposed design).
Grand Forks is one of the few cities in the state that does not have a Veterans Memorial Park, an outdoor gathering place large enough for veterans, military members, their families and friends to celebrate, recognize, remember, and honor the lives of those who are serving or have served in the United States Military.
While there are a couple of small statues around the city that recognize fallen heroes, there is not a formal place where veterans can gather to conduct Memorial Day and Veterans Day services or to celebrate Independence Day or the birthdays of our military service branches.
The proposed Veterans Memorial Park will be large enough to allow such functions, will project the appropriate patriotic atmosphere, and allow families to feel a degree of privacy in which to meditate and reflect on their loved ones who have served.
The Park & Memorial Granite Wall will show:
- Veterans, the community remembers and honors their service.
- The community, which has a rich military tradition, cares and strongly supports what our armed forces have done for our community and country.
- Visitors, the sacrifices our veterans have undergone for the freedoms we have.
- The ability to instill a sense of patriotism and serve as an important educational tool for visitors, particularly our youth.
- An opportunity for veterans, military members, family members, and friends to purchase Memorial Stones to remember, respect, and honor those who have served or are serving.
- Along with the Memorial Stones, they can create a healing effect for veterans, military members, and their families and friends.
A Sense of Pride
Our community has a rich military tradition from the North Dakota National Guard’s 164th Infantry dating back to 1885, the Grand Forks Air Force Base dating back to the 1950’s and the thousands of community members who have served or are serving honorably in the military service branches throughout the world.
The Veterans Memorial Park will have a Black Granite Wall 6 feet high and 40 feet long with images laser-etched into the granite describing the role of American veterans from the first wars and conflicts to the present, to include the latest equipment.
Veterans, military members, their families and friends will have a sense of pride in knowing the community cares, honors, and respects the veterans’ sacrifices.
The Veterans Memorial Park vision began with a veteran named Roger Westerso. Roger envisioned a park with a wall and various sculptures complemented by pillars representing all five branches of the military. A portion of his artwork was added to a Harley Davidson chopper, dedicated as the “Veterans Memorial Bike”. Don Purpur and John Hanson met at a Red River Valley Motorcyclists Show in 2010 where the Veterans Memorial Bike was on display.
They began a discussion on the importance of dedicating a Veterans Memorial Park in our community. This led to establishing a formal group dedicated to advancing this idea. Energized by veterans, local community members and veteran organizations, the vision gained momentum and the future location was secured.
Prominent support of the Grand Forks Park District, Grand Forks Parks & Rec Foundation, the Red River Valley Motorcyclists, the City of Grand Forks, veteran organizations and a number of local veterans will bring this vision into existence.
Honorary & Memorial Naming Opportunities
- Granite Block: The Veterans Memorial Park will feature granite blocks to honor veterans for their service. The granite blocks will be placed during phase 2 of the project during the installation of the sidewalks. Each block will be 8 by 12 inches and feature 4 lines of customized text (18 characters per line). If you are interested in purchasing a granite block to honor a veteran in your life, please fill out the form below.
*WALK OF HONOR – MEMORIAL STONES UPDATE
The Grand Forks Park District has NOT finished planting all the granite blocks that have been ordered by the public. Various issues including supply chain problems have backed up our ability to fulfill the orders as quickly as we had initially planned.
At this time, all the block orders that have come in after about the Spring of 2021 are still not planted along the walkway. Unfortunately, we do not have a definitive timeline of when these blocks will be completed. The Park District is diligently working with the partnered contractors to have the blocks planted along the walkway as soon as possible.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.