[email protected] For the last year, anytime the Heroes Monument has been discussed, it’s been discussed with an air of secrecy to it. Where is it? What exactly is it? Why can’t the location …
For the last year, anytime the Heroes Monument has been discussed, it’s been discussed with an air of secrecy to it. Where is it? What exactly is it? Why can’t the location be shared? The short answer until now has been, it’s an active construction site that is not open to the public.
That still remains true for the most part. It is still a construction site, it is still not completely open to the general public, but the public is finally going to have a chance to see the monument before the snow flies. On Veteran’s Day, Thursday, November 11, UHL is hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony and the public is invited to the property to be part of the celebration.
The idea for a monument to honor and celebrate the men and women who have served our country was born as military youth and veterans started spending lots of time together at the United Heroes League’s property in rural Hastings.
“Our Confidence Course was completed in 2020, and an outdoor hockey rink soon followed,” said United Heroes League President and Founder Shane Hudella. “We had these military families gathering together to have fun and support each other, but it was missing something. We needed a place to recognize and honor what brought us all together, military service.”
The Heroes Monument has three walls, 60-feet long and 6-feet high, in the shape of the United Heroes League logo, a shield. The legs of the shield represent the military, sports and family. Bricks in the walls present an opportunity to honor and commemorate a service member. For example, the north wall of the monument is reserved exclusively for the first 2,160 service members. Each brick is the same size and color to denote the importance of each member’s sacrifice, regardless of branch or rank. When all bricks are purchased, this monument will commemorate over 4,300 heroic service members.
In the center of the monument is a star, and in the center of the star is a flag. “The flag we received as a donation is one of those huge flags like Perkin’s flies,” said Hudella. “You should see it and the monument from any flights that go overhead from MSP.”
The monument is located on the UHL campus at 15211 Ravenna Trail, Hastings next to the Strapped Confidence Course and just behind Extreme Sandbox. When approaching from Hastings, it is the first drive on the right after Glendale Road. The second right brings you to the UHL office.
Guests are welcome to arrive at 11:30 for a self-guided tour of the monument space. At noon a program will begin with the National Anthem and a Flyover followed by speakers. Expected to speak are Hastings Mayor Mary Fasbender, Dakota Commissioner Mike Slavik, State Representative Tony Jurgens, Prairie Island Indian Community President Shelley Buck, and Sergeant Major Jesse Howard from the MN Army National Guard. The program is expected to last 40 minutes.
After the program concludes, the site will again be closed to the general public for additional construction to take place. The plan is to open the monument fully on Memorial Day 2022. When complete, the monument will contain over 4,300 bricks honoring service members of the US Military. The bricks will be engraved in similar fashion as to the engravings found at Arlington National Cemetery.
United Heroes League actively works to ensure that children of military service members can afford every opportunity to participate in sports. They have positively impacted over 75,000 military families nationwide and around the world, while providing over twenty million dollars’ worth of benefits to military service members and their children.
In recognition of this monumental event and Veteran’s Day, United Heroes League’s fall giving campaign offers opportunities for you to double your donation as you make a difference in a military child’s life. Learn more at www.GiveUHL.org