Stearns County’s Veterans Service Office is looking for letters or correspondence shared between service men and women and their families. Excerpts from the correspondence will be used in a Minnesota Military Family Tribute that will be the first of its kind in the nation.
The tribute will honor the families of current and former military members and will be installed on the grounds of the Minnesota State Capitol Mall.
There will be three components to the tribute: a Gold Star Table, a Thank You Military and Veteran Family Walkway, and Story Stones.
The MFT is partnering with county veterans’ service offices throughout the state to collect correspondence from military families to assist in the creation of the Story Stones component. Eighty-seven “Story Stones” will be arranged as part of the tribute, representing each of the state’s 87 counties. Excerpts from correspondence sent between military members and their families will be etched onto these stones, providing a window into the lives of those military families and their sacrifices, as well as imparting a strong educational component for the tribute.
Stearns County’s Veterans Service Office will collect submissions for inclusion on Stearns County’s Story Stone. Submissions may be from any timeframe, from the Civil War to the current time, and they need not be from a conflict. It can be a letter, telegram, e-mail or even video, which will be transcribed to written word for inclusion on the stone. While only a small portion of any contributed submission will be etched into the stone – likely a short sentence or phrase – the words, in their brevity will illuminate the lives of military families.
To provide a story, please send a copy of your submission to the Stearns County Veterans Service Office no later than Friday, Nov. 21.
Send to: Terry Ferdinandt, Stearns County Veterans Service Office, Stearns County Service Center, 3301 CR 138, Waite Park, MN 56387
Or email to: Terry.Ferdinandt@co.stearns.mn.us
The dedication of the tribute will take place June 13, 2015.