Veterans Memorial Park unveils new monument dedicated to women in service
Veterans Memorial Park in Blaine unveiled a new monument Friday, dedicated to women in service.
It is believed to be the only monument of its kind in Minnesota, specifically paying tribute to women in the military.
The monument has five sides in honor of each branch of the military, with a flame on top meant to symbolize women on fire for freedom.
“It’s just, ah, it leaves me speechless,” said Captain Kay Bauer, an 86-year-old veteran from Coon Rapids.
Bauer served as a high-ranking Navy nurse for 35 years and helped treat wounded servicemembers in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
She is part of a small group of female veterans who helped design the new monument.
There are an estimated 25,000 female veterans living in Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs.
Bauer believes all of them deserve to be honored.
“They need to be recognized. People need to know what they did and who they are,” Bauer said.
The new monument is the ninth to be installed at Veterans Memorial Park in Blaine and was paid for, in part, by the 3M Open.
Park President Steve Guider said this particular monument has been many years in the making.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Guider said. “Everybody hears the stories of what the men do but they don’t hear the stories of what the women do. To not honor everybody that’s ever served, to me, is a shame.”
Guider said the monument is made from the same black granite as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C.
It will be lit up with red and blue lights at night.
“This is phenomenal that we have something now in Minnesota that will honor these women who have done so much,” Bauer said. “Women from all over the United States and all over the world can come and see this.”
The new monument is at Veterans Memorial Park, located at 10802 Town Square Drive Northeast in Blaine.
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