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Veteran's Memorial plans include flagpole

The planned Wadena Veteran's Memorial Park came one step closer to completion at Tuesday's Wadena City Council meeting.

Council members voted unanimously to approve the park's flagpole. During the meeting, David Ludovisse said the flagpole in question will measure 60 feet high, and is patterned after a naval ship's mast. It will feature six different flags flying from the yardarm; five service flags of each branch of the United States Armed Forces, and the official POW/MIA flag.

The flagpole will be located near an existing sign that honors veterans. An order for the pole has been submitted.

The Veteran's Memorial as a whole, however, remains in the planning stages, while the city council and local veterans' groups confer with architects. It is intended to be built near the south end of Sunnybrook Park in Wadena. Planned features for the new memorial park include a wall inscribed with the names of all local veterans, a viewing platform near the existing pond and a path with pavers that local citizens can purchase to help finance the park's construction.

Ludovisse also said his Memorial Park Committee had requested a decommissioned helicopter from the U.S. Army for installation alongside the 2.5 ton truck already present, but he also expressed doubts that a helicopter would be available anytime soon. Ludovisse added that he had talked with Sen. Paul Gazelka, head of the Minnesota Senate Veterans Committee, about getting a grant to assist with construction costs.

Ludovisse said Gazelka seemed "very enthusiastic" about the idea, "but then again, that was election time (when I asked), so we'll see what happens," he added with a smile.