WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --

    Westbrook   Fast forward to 2017, over $200,000 and countless hours of labor have given the community one of the most profound veterans memorial which is second to none, its visual beauty as well as its perpetual honor to those who served their country.

    The members of the committee have all been on since the beginning. They are Deb Jans, Dennis Jutting, Todd Dibble, John Madson, and Steve Kjorness.

    According to Jans and Jutting it all started at the VFW Club with a rough drawing on a bar napkin. From there it went to a computer generated  sketch.

    The committee spent several days visiting memorials in several towns in southwest Minnesota. One of the things they noticed was that some  used pavers with engraved names of veterans on  them.  After considering that maintenance on those pavers and the lack of permanency the committee decided to have the names engraved on marble slabs with military scenes of each branch of the service etched on the back of each one. The  slabs came from Rusch Granite in Big Stone.

    The committee said after visiting the Granite Falls Veterans Memorial they were so impressed that they  decided to hire Majestic Landscape of Granite Falls who constructed their memorial. The committee commented how helpful the company was in coming up with the design of the memorial.

    Steve Kjorness said it was a labor of love for us. Our committee has worked well together,  but noted that some time we will probably have to find some new blood, as the  original five persons have been on it for almost ten years.

    The memorial is in a beautiful setting with trees and loads of landscape flowers and plants throughout the memorial. The granite slabs have over 600 names on the five slabs with room for 150 more. The memorial features three life size bronze statues representing men and women in  uniform as well as two small helmets and rifle statues at the entrance.

    The committee wanted to mention all the help from the school with Doug Lee and Josh Barron's Ag Classes, as well as other organizations from the community who helped with sodding the grass,  cement work,  and hauling numerous wheelbarrows of rock.  

    The committee also held many fund raisers from fish frys to taco feeds and many others.

    The committee knows it takes a lot of work keeping the memorial grounds up. Once or twice a month they get together to pull weeds around the landscape areas.

    One of the really nice features of the memorial is the water feature that has a stream flowing into a pond in the center of the memorial.

    If you have never stopped for a visit at the memorial it is one visit that is well worth seeing in our little town of Westbrook. You will have to go a long way to find a memorial as stunning as this one.