Northeast Minneapolis veterans and residents from the Sheridan Neighborhood have worked tirelessly to make a memorial along the Mississippi a reality. Back in 1995, a group of WW II veterans led by Ed Karbo Sr. began looking for a site to commemorate war veterans. They joined forces with the Sheridan Neighborhood Organization (SNO) in 2005 to site the memorial in Sheridan Memorial Park. "The Sheridan Veterans Memorial is a thank you to those who stepped forward to serve, a tribute to those whose lives were lost or forever altered, and a living reminder of our hope for a world with lasting peace," (State Representative Diane Loeffler).
The memorial will be located at the south end of Sheridan Memorial Park, with an overlook at the edge of the bank along the Mississippi River. The memorial will honor all Minnesota veterans. Plans call for a central sculpture on a circular plaza, surrounded by four concentric rings made up of lawn, a perimeter walk punctuated with quotes about peace, bench alcoves with vertical markers, and peace gardens. Closely planted oaks comprise the outermost ring. The ten vertical markers in the peace gardens each bear a description of one of the ten wars in which Minnesotans have fought. An eleventh "empty" marker will represent the future with the ever potential threat of war, reminding us to strive for peace. The central sculpture and eleven markers are being created by local artist Robert Smart.
Project Phase: Construction in Summer and Fall of 2013 Closures of Park Facilities: No existing facilities will be impacted by construction; the south end of the park is closed for construction of the memorial.
Construction completed as of September 15, 2013: rough grading, installation of storm sewer system and water service, removal of contaminated soils, all frost footings, overlook foundation and pavement including trench drain.
September 15-30: Seat walls, concrete pavement, bituminous path, installation of benches, flagpoles, and bike racks. Overlook railing and dedication sign installed.
October 1-15: Electrical work, earthwork and preparation of planting beds, irrigation, turf establishment, peace gardens planted. On October 8 Xcel volunteers will plant and mulch the trees and shrubs. Signs installed. Site clean-up.
September 30 - November 8: installation of markers and central sculpture.
November 11, 10 a.m. Grand Opening ceremony.
Milestones/ Recent Activity
Award of Bid for Construction of Sheridan Veterans Memorial to Thomas and Sons Construction, Inc
Approval of amendment to HR Green contract
Approval of amendment to Robert Smart contract for additional services, including one (11th) marker
Approval of concepts for central sculpture and markers by artist Robert Smart
Approval of acceptance of 2013 Hennepin County ERF Grant for environmental engineering and clean-up of contaminated soils
Approval of contract with Robert Smart, artist for design, fabrication and installation of central sculpture and ten markers
February 20, 2013 - Meeting with Minneapolis Arts Commission to review and approve artist concepts
February 6, 2013 - Meeting with Technical Advisory Committee of Minneapolis Arts Commission to review artist concepts
February 5, 2013 - Meeting with veterans to review artist concepts for sculpture
June 2012 - Committee of volunteers/artists/design professionals from Sheridan neighborhood and Minneapolis review Artist Qualifications, short-list and interview four artists, and select Robert Smart as the finalist.
February 21, 2012 - Open House – MPRB HQ, 2117 W River Road
2006-2010 - Memorial Planning Focus Group meets numerous times
Plans for the park were developed in 2006 through a year-long collaboration among the MPRB, SNO, the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO), elected officials, the Above the Falls Citizen Advisory Committee, neighborhood residents, and veterans.