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<p>ROCHESTER, Minn. – Mayo Employees Credit Union, First Alliance Credit Union and IBM Mid America Employees Federal Credit Union have donated $5,000 each to help build the Soldier Field Veterans Memorial. Funds donated by the credit unions were used to erect benches along the perimeter of the memorial. What started initially as a plaque to honor the members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade grew to include every significant conflict from the Civil War to the Gulf War and today recognizes more than 2,500 people from southeastern Minnesota that gave their lives in service. To commemorate the 30-year anniversary of the adoption of the 173rd here, the unit returned for a reunion in the summer of 1995. It was then that construction of the memorial began and was completed in 2000. “We started this project not knowing where it would go,” said Soldiers Field Veteran Memorial Committee member and Mayo Employees CU board director David Senjem. “It was at that point (in 1995) on a Sunday morning, looking around at our 1,200 guests that four of us decided to do something in the city to recognize the service of the military.” No tax dollars were used in the construction of the memorial, everything from benches and trees, to flagpoles and sidewalk space were sold to those wanting to help support the memorial. The names of the deceased are randomly listed on the Wall of Remembrance, which is made of rectangular granite panels. Battle scenes etched into the black granite, along with mosaic depictions also pay tribute to the veterans. “To recognize and show our appreciation for those members and families that helped defend this country is so important to us. This is an extraordinary cause,” said Mayo ECU President/CEO Mary Hansen.</p>

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