This coverage is made possible by a grant from The Saint Paul Foundation.

Long-awaited memorial on St. Paul’s riverfront focuses on Mexican-American veterans

The American Veterans-Mexican American Post #5 has been raising money for years to build a memorial to veterans, particularly Mexican-American veterans, on St. Paul’s Harriet Island on the banks of the Mississippi River.

With help from the city of St. Paul and other sources, the memorial is finally ready and will be dedicated at 6:30 p.m. July 17.

Called the American Veterans Memorial – Plaza de Honor, the memorial on the Harriet Island river walk consists of a gathering area surrounded by several flagpoles.

Organizers say it recognizes the sacrifices of all veterans, but particularly Latino and Mexican-American veterans, especially those from St. Paul’s West Side, which has a strong Hispanic heritage.

“We have been working towards this opportunity for almost a decade, and the veterans of our post and throughout St. Paul finally have a memorial that they can be proud of,” said American Veterans Memorial Committee Chair Michael Medina.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said:

“The sacrifices of our veterans should be recognized every day, and this memorial serves as a reminder to us all year-round. St. Paul has a storied history of veterans supporting our country, and the more than one million visitors to Harriet Island yearly will be reminded of that legacy.”

The free dedication event will include a ribbon-cutting, color guards from veteran organizations, the Pledge of Allegiance and national anthem, and an invocation, followed by refreshments in the Harriet Island Wigington Pavilion.

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