Nearly eight years after the first conversations were had about a Veterans Memorial at Minnesota Square Park in Saint Peter, Officials are preparing for thousands of visitors when the project is unveiled next month.

Saint Peter Area Veterans Memorial Association Chairman Bob Lambert says it’s exciting to see where the project is today.

“If you go in and look at the progress of what they’ve got done so far, it’s really being done well. I think just the subtle design and the respect this memorial shows for Veteran’s in a very classy way is just gonna be the right kind of memorial for this part of this park.” 

Lambert served in the U.S. Army from 1966 to 1970 as a helicopter pilot, he spent 1967 and 1968 in Vietnam.

Construction crews ensure the memorial will be done by July 1, which was funded by 700-thousand dollars in donations. That total number for the project well exceeds the 100-thousand dollar total that Lambert first suggested to the association.

“I said if we do it right, no matter what we design, I think we’ll find a way to raise the money. Because the more people are impressed by that design, the more they’re willing to contribute and the more people will be willing to contribute. But, I was just pretty much shocked. I can’t think of a business in this community that hasn’t contributed. Then the number of individuals that not only paid to put their name on the wall, but so many people paid so much more than that to put on the donor wall to make sure there was money to cover the bills for this project.”

Between the Honor Wall and Service Wall, around 13-hundred names will be displayed for those who have died and for those who have served in the military.

On June 28, the centerpiece of the project, a 10 and a -half-foot tall eagle statue will be delivered and a crane will help mount the 18-hundred pound bronze piece of art.

“The crane is able to reach 75-feet into the sight, where it is mounted is 70-feet into the site. So, I’m going to be holding my breath during that one. Then it will be immediately covered with a black shroud, as will the rest of the site. The shroud will be removed during the dedication ceremony.”

The dedication ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 1, which will feature a WWII Aircraft flyover along with numerous red, white and blue Corvettes.

For more information on the memorial, head to http://stpetervetsmemorial.org/.