ST. PETER, MN

A process that has been in the works for 8+ years has finally come to fruition.

This afternoon, the City of St. Peter held a celebration to unveil a brand new Veterans Memorial.

This memorial is a little different than most as it honors soldiers from every American conflict since the Civil War.

"We've got 97 people on what is called the 'Honor Wall' which is those who have died during service," explained Bob Lambert of the St. Peter Area Veterans Memorial Association.  "We have a little over 1,200 which are on the 'Service Walls' and those are veterans that served in the United States Military."

A memorial as impressive as this one has to cost quite a bit.

Lambert wasn't shy about one of the many victories that came with the construction of the memorial.

"This is a little over $700,000 project with no tax dollars or no public money involved, all private donations and we're very proud of the results," said Lambert.

The St. Peter Area Veterans Memorial Association and the City of St. Peter went back and forth about where to place the memorial.

However, the association had only one spot they really wanted to put it:  Minnesota Square Park.

"I think this location at the end of these 50 flags and on this prominent corner basically gives the message to anybody driving by here as there is about 12–15,000 cars a day that go by here that St. Peter must really honor their veterans and they do it right," said Lambert.

At the end of the day, these men left to defend our country.

Some completed their duty and came home, others were wounded and returned to the states while some never set foot on American soil again.

"This is not a war memorial," said Lambert.  "We are not honoring war, that's the last thing we want to honor.  But we do want to honor those people that are willing to go to war to defend our rights."

In a time of great division, it was amazing to see a whole community unite for an afternoon.

--KEYC News 12