ROCHESTER, Minn. - Community members with military ties are reflecting on the sacrifices made by service members in protecting our nation's freedoms.
Mother and Daughter Debi Neville and Mariah Mihm laid flowers beside the names of three loved ones Monday, whose names are inscribed at the Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial. One of them is Mihm's father, Neville's husband, a Vietnam War veteran who passed away last year.
"This place was always really important to my dad," Mihm said, adding the memorial has become a place her family comes to remember her father.
While her husband didn't speak about his service in Vietnam for a long time, Neville knows he had a strong connection with the memorial at Soldiers Field. Neville says the veterans memorial means a great deal to her family, and knows others in our community feel similarly.
"When you talk to other veterans, and we know other people who have pavers here, I think it's just so important to remember that we're here today free because these people served," said Neville. "We brought Mariah's son and my other two little grandchildren here and talked about it, and I think that's how we keep that service alive."
Vietnam War Veteran Arvid Sisell also believes it's important we honor those who have served, and never forget the heroes who lost their lives in battle.
Sisell says while he was fortunate to not have been seriously hurt, many who served in Vietnam suffered serious injuries or experienced challenges that affected them for the rest of their lives. A number of soldiers lost their lives in the war, Sisell continues, without having any choice in becoming involved.
"I just think it's important that they really take it to heart - that it's for real," Sisell said. "I didn't have a choice. I went there, and it's one of the things we had to do. We didn't have a choice, and live or die, you had to fight for your country. And I think they don't realize how important it is to keep this country free and good for everybody, and safe for everybody."
Several community members spoke to the important role the Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial serves in teaching others about the history and sacrifices made by veterans in the name of freedom. You can learn more about how to support the memorial by following this link.