Memorial Day is an opportunity to remember those that fought for our country and in doing so made the ultimate sacrifice. It is a time that we remember a fallen family member and looks to the veterans around us to thank them for their service. This weekend will highlight a couple of the many memorials available in the shadow of the Minnesota State Capitol building.
“The Monument to the Living” in Saint Paul by Vietnam veteran and artist Rodger M. Brodin was presented as a gift “by and for the Veterans of Minnesota”. This 12-foot statue, consisting of 1,500 steel pieces hammered and welded together, depicts a saddened soldier with outstretched arms asking “Why did you forget us?” and can be found on the Capitol Mall to the west of the Veterans Services Building.
It was dedicated on May 22, 1982, to all of the soldiers who fought and survived wars and conflicts and are looking to preserve the memory of those that fought for their country and didn’t make it back.
The statue was paid for without state funds and completely with the help of monies raised by different VFW chapters throughout the state, along with help from various American Legions. The design was a committee effort and Brodin used the building of the statue as a way to help deal with the PTSD he struggled with after his return from Vietnam.