A place to remember

Klaith gives Hill Street Place residents a tour of Memorial Park

Photo by Angela Gonzalez Marc Klaith explains to Hill Street Place residents how Memorial Park was created during a tour Wednesday afternoon.

MARSHALL — A group of Hill Street residents hopped off Marshall’s community bus Wednesday afternoon, prepped with sunglasses, umbrellas and shirts reading “God Bless America.”

The sun beat down on the residents as they were shown around Memorial Park. Jane Nelson Como, Hill Street’s activity director, thought it would be a good idea for the residents to learn more about the park after the past holiday of Memorial Day.

This group was the second to come to the park and be shown around by Marc Klaith. He was a former Marshall fire chief and one of the many organizers that helped create the park.

“We’ve had a lot of community involvement,” Klaith said. “They’ve all been great support.”

From the shape of the park to each star engraved on the ground, every aspect of the park plays a part in helping visitors remember those who have served and continue to serve.

The first piece shown on the tour was a tall dark brown wall. A rusting wall. A symbol.

“We wanted it to be this way,” Klaith said to the group. ” It shows no matter how old it gets, it will continue to stay strong.”

In large swooping letters it reads,“All Give Some — Some Give All.”

A thank you for the fallen and the families who have had loved ones serve.

Surrounding the park are tall poles, each holding a waving flag. There is a flag to represent each branch of the military.

Statues of both women and men are dotted around the park, to represent those who serve in the military, fire departments, and police force.

The other side of the park is dedicated to those who served during the attacks on 9/11.

The stars embedded on the ground to signify the EMS that helped after the attacks took place. The shape of the ground is a pentagon, to help visitors remember that the Pentagon was hit too. Large rectangular stones, brought from Mankato, circle around the middle, to symbolize the strength that was shown that day. Smaller red rocks placed in between each. Rocks, when wet, look like they’re bleeding.

In the middle of the park, sitting on a pedestal with apples engraved on the sides, is a beam from one of the Twin Towers after the tragedy. Craig Schaefer, who is currently on the city council, was there at the site, helping to pick up the wreckage from the attacks. When he got word that they were giving away beams, he called Klaith, asking if he should bring one back for the city. Klaith immediately said yes, telling Schafer that there would be a special memorial built for it.

As the residents surrounded the beam, Klaith pointed out how the beam didn’t stand straight. It was tilted a bit. It pointed towards home, to New York.

Being a fire chief for 31 years and having many family members serve, Klaith knows the importance of remembering.

Seeing the park come together has brought great joy for Klaith.

“It’s a good place to sit and enjoy yourself, which is something the people who sacrificed themselves would want for us,” he said.


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