Monument honors Iraq heroes
A monument rolled into Cloquet Tuesday, the first in the state to commemorate Minnesotans who have died since the war in Iraq began in 2002. Families of two Carlton County Marines who died in 2004 attended the afternoon event, along with many mil...
A monument rolled into Cloquet Tuesday, the first in the state to commemorate Minnesotans who have died since the war in Iraq began in 2002. Families of two Carlton County Marines who died in 2004 attended the afternoon event, along with many military veterans and local residents, to view the granite monument bearing their sons' names.
"I still have a hard time, so it's nice when they are remembered," said Cloquet resident Loretta Angell, whose son Levi Angell died in Iraq on April 8, 2004. "It's touching to know his name is on a monument," she said.
Levi Angell is also remembered on a brick in Cloquet's Veterans Park and on a billboard on Interstate 35, according to Loretta Angell. She remembers him by visiting his grave site at Fort Snelling in St. Paul and thinks of him when she sees any grave markers of other soldiers.
"It never really gets easier, but you learn to accept," she said.
Etched in the black granite monument are the names of 61 Minnesotans who have died. Names of the two people who most recently died will be added in the near future.
In addition to Angell, three other military men from the Carlton County area are named on the monument: Matthew G. Milczark of Kettle River, Moises Langhorst of Moose Lake, and Matthew S. Lourey of Kerrick.
The monument is travelling the state in the next month to cities and towns near some of the families of those who have died.
"We were lucky enough to be picked to host this honor," said Donald Douglas, VFW commander of the Eighth District, which includes Cloquet.
The monument was commissioned by John and Bonnie Enstrom of Ramsey, Minn., and Pete and Darla Haugen of New Hope, Minn.
"They knew people who had died and were very affected by it, and wanted to do something to remember," according to Sandy Anderson, a coordinator of the tour. "We're traveling around the state with this monument to commemorate fallen soldiers and civilians."
Writing on the granite reads, This memorial is dedicated to our Minnesota heroes who fought in the global war on terrorism ... who gave all to save the freedom for all."
John Cox came from McGregor to attend the event. He is a disabled Air Force veteran and grandfather of Langhorst, who died on April 5, 2004, in Iraq.
"Not everybody understands the sacrifice," he said. "At age 19, Moises gave the ultimate sacrifice."
In remembering Moises, Cox called him, "A beautiful boy who chose to serve in the Marines."
"He believed in what he was doing," he said. "I believed in what he was doing."
The monument offered some comfort to Cox.
"It's moving," he said. "This monument helps my grieving and helps remember him."
In September, the monument will be permanently affixed at Veterans Lake in Ramsey, Minn.