MANTORVILLE, Minn. - Remembering the sacrifices made in the 20-year aftermath of 9/11 is one of the many goals of a new monument being erected in Mantorville.
It’s the first-ever Gold Star Families Memorial Monument to be created in Minnesota.
Dave and Kay Swenson lost their son, CPL Curtis Michael Swenson on April 2, 2010, in Afghanistan.
Kay recalled, “Curtis was 12-years-old during 9/11 when the towers were struck and I didn't know that that was going to be his fate at the time but I always go back to that date as kind of what really solidified his death.”
“We're all suffering here too but it's going to get better,” Dave added. “I mean all we can do is move forward and try to make our life a little better after this.”
Now they’re working to create a place for Gold Star families to honor the servicemen and women who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.
Dave explained, “We've lost closed to 2,500 service members in Afghanistan since 2001 and 4,500 in Iraq so that's what makes this so important, There are so many families out there that get to look at that and go, 'You know that kind of honors our family and our son or daughters.’”
Memorial co-chairman Scott Eggert was part of the Minnesota Patriot Guard that brought Curtis home.
“I would do anything to get Curt back, I can't,” Scott said with tears in his eyes.
He hopes the memorial will remind Americans about the true meaning of sacrifice.
He added, “We'll be long gone and it will educate people on what this sacrifice is. We've forgotten that in this country. We need to get back to understanding what that sacrifice is.”
It’s a sacrifice Dave and Kay will live with for the rest of their lives and don’t want others to forget.
“Keeping the sacrifice known as well,” said Kay. “I think a lot of people, as well as 9/11, people forget. Their memories are short. So, I think as long there's good and evil in the world you're going to have war and you're going to have a need for things like this.”
The monument looks to be a place where Gold Star families of all wars can come together and share their stories.
The hope is to have the Gold Start Memorial Monument completed by the spring of next year.
You can discover more about the monument by clicking here.