Memorial Day 2020 will be unlike any other as due to COVID-19 we are limited in our gathering together for community Memorial Day ceremonies. However, let's make it a "happening."
As an alternative, I invite you to visit our Goodhue County Veterans Memorial in Red Wing. This most fitting memorial was dedicated 1988 at the base of John Rich Park. In the center of the memorial proudly flies the American flag and around it stands six gray granite pillars. Each pillar represents every war beginning with the Civil War up through the Vietnam War. On these pillars are inscribed the names of 351 men from Goodhue County, "some who gave all.” This is an important tribute and memorial to our veterans and is a baseline of remembrance.
We moved to Red Wing from Cannon Falls in 1992. Most every day passing by the monument, I paid little attention except to admire its American flag and its inclusion on Memorial Day ceremonies. About two years ago, I visited the memorial and was impressed with all the names of the many county men who answered the call of our country.
There are names from every hamlet and town. These men died under the most horrible conditions and in later years their family was presented a Purple Heart.
This past February, as a tribute to the 351 men who "shed their blood," a red India granite Purple Heart Monument was unveiled besides our County Veterans Memorial. This monument stands as a tribute to the 351 men who "shed their blood -- some gave all,” to the men and women who "all gave some" and to those who serve. The color red represents the blood they shed. The monument’s meaningful inscriptions tell the "rest" of the story.
Again, I invite you to visit our Goodhue County Veterans Memorial paying honor to those who died in combat -- and as a side benefit, taking time to reflect on our county's heritage. The park is located on Highway 61 diagonally across from the Red Wing Family YMCA. Parking lots are available on both sides of the memorial.
God Bless America.
Richard J. Johnson
Colonel, USMC (retired)