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Thinking ahead to Memorial Day? How about supporting the Ely Area Veterans Memorial?

In nine days we’ll make our way up to the Ely Cemetery and note the passing of our veterans during the Memorial Day service. It’s a time honored tradition and certainly more patriotic than just having a barbecue. But what if you wanted to do more?
We would suggest you consider making a donation to the Ely Area Veterans Memorial Project.
Slated to be built next to the Trezona Trail at the entrance to the Ely Business Park, the memorial has quickly become a source of pride in the community. Groups and organizations, along with a number of individuals, have made donations to the project.
With a total budget of around $80,000, the project has blossomed from a more basic beginning. We think it could be even more.
We’ve heard from veterans who want to see the project go at an even grander scale. The only thing that limits the possibility is funding.
Currently the project has monument pedestals for all wars in which the United States has been involved. On top of each pedestal would be a bronze plaque giving information on the number of soldiers wounded or killed in action along with an outline of the area in which the conflict occurred.
In the middle will be information on the Bataan Death March where seven from Ely where prisoners. Inbetween the pedestals will be benches for people to sit on and reflect.
Ely’s history of sending sons and daughters off to war is legendary. On a per capita basis, Ely was the top city for soldiers in World War II. Read in next week’s Echo the ever growing list of names of veterans who have served and now passed on. In the sea of patriotism, Ely swims proudly at the top.
Wars may be popular or not. For those who were drafted to serve, dragged out of their homes and called upon to destroy, their lives were forever changed against their will. Following Vietnam our country, at times shamefully, failed to separate the soldier from the political ideology.
What can we do today to help future generations understand the sacrifices made so they can enjoy the freedom they bask in? We can open our checkbooks and give to projects like the Ely Area Veterans Memorial. Think big. Donate today.
Donations may be sent to Ely Area Veterans Memorial, c/o City of Ely, 209 E. Chapman St., Ely, MN 55731.

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