The memorial includes all branches of the military — even the Coast Guard and the Merchant Marine flags — and honors all Wykoff area veterans who served their country.
The memorial includes all branches of the military — even the Coast Guard and the Merchant Marine flags — and honors all Wykoff area veterans who served their country.
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Wykoff’s veterans will now be seen and read.

The Wykoff Veterans’ Memorial Committee has spent the past three years working to raise flags over Wykoff to commemorate the service of its residents who gave their time and quite possibly their lives to the United States in the six branches of the military.  A special dedication ceremony is set to take place during this year’s Wykoff Fall Fest celebration to make the memorial an official installation of recognition for veterans deceased and still living.

Wykoff Veterans’ Memorial Committee members include Chairman Mike Holzer, Co-Chairman Harvey Schmidt, the late Wayne Winslow – who served as treasurer – and Mark Anderson, Cheyanne Baker, John Baker, Lyle Crowson, Mitch Grabau, LuAnn Hare, Ross Heusinkveld and Lynn Kidd. 

The organization partnered with the Spring Valley Area Community Foundation (SVACF) to gain 501(c)3 nonprofit status so that it could obtain land and donations toward construction. The memorial features nine flags – those for the Army, Navy, Marines, Merchant Marine, Air Force and Coast Guard, as well as the Minnesota state flag, Prisoner of War (POW) and American flags – surrounded by a walkway that is lined with engraved pavers bearing the names of the town’s veterans and accompanied by the cannon that has long stood in the city park south of the community hall. 

The memorial stands downtown on land donated to the committee by the city of Wykoff – which inherited Bill and Connie Bicknese’s little park north of the Gateway Inn Café on the corner of Gold Street and Highway 80 – and a parcel donated by the estate of the late Bud Kavanagh.

“This is a perfect location for travelers through our community and for all of our citizens to enjoy,” notes a brochure created by the committee.

Holzer commented he and Schmidt worked to foster support for the project, then were joined by so very many people, too many to name, but he mentioned a few involved.

“Harvey (Schmidt) worked with Anderson Monument in Rochester…he was the mover and shaker, and when we started selling pavers, Jerry Rollie sold a lot of pavers,” said Holzer. “The association with the Spring Valley Area Community Foundation allowed us to be a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization, and that saved us a lot of money.  We had the cooperation of a lot of different people – LuAnn Hare, Lynn Kidd. Member Wayne Winslow worked with the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the American Legion.  He passed away earlier this year, but part of this park is here through a lot of his work.  The eagle on the old stone building was given by Tom Rowe, and the soldier bending down to the cross was given by Lyman Hare, John Baker did the concrete, some of the Ramaker brothers set the pavers…it’s been a wide and varied project.”     

The dedication ceremony is slated for Saturday, Sept. 24, from 10 to 10:45 a.m. at the Veterans’ Memorial Park on the corner of Gold Street and Highway 80 in Wykoff. LuAnn Hare cited that at this point, there are 100 pavers already installed and another 20 to be set as soon as they are delivered, offering veterans and their families the opportunity to visit the memorial and find important names. 

The ceremony is tentatively set to feature speakers, a high-flying, crane-mounted American flag and the words of local dignitaries.  Members of the public are invited to join the committee as the words are read and the veterans honored in the solemn ceremony that Holzer, Schmidt, Hare and the rest of the committee feel is long overdue.