Bethany Lutheran College (BLC) has been chosen as the permanent home for a commissioned monument honoring veterans and active duty soldiers. The monument is a project by the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS). The ELS is the church body that owns and operates Bethany Lutheran College. The monument will be positioned in the area east of Division Street and west of the Edgewood Place residence hall on the BLC campus.
The monument/sculpture, featuring two bronze statues depicting both Reformation age (Sixteenth Century) and modern-day soldiers preparing for battle while reading the Holy Bible, is being designed and sculpted by Bethany alumnus and artist Jason Jaspersen.
Groundbreaking for the site will take place on Veterans Day, Monday, November 11, 2019.
Two associated events are part of the groundbreaking. First, a special chapel service will take place at 10 a.m. in Bethany’s Trinity Chapel. After the chapel service, those gathered will move to the monument site where Bethany Professor Dr. Steven Reagles (U.S. Army Veteran) will be delivering the address during the outdoor groundbreaking ceremony at 11 a.m.
Military Monument Committee members taking part in the groundbreaking ceremony include Mr. Dennis Behr (U.S. Navy Retired), Reverend Glenn Obenberger (Vice President of the ELS), Mr. Raymond Pederson (U.S. Navy Veteran), and Reverend Larry Wentzlaff (U.S. Army Veteran). Turning shovels are Mrs. Rebecca DeGarmeaux (ELS Ottesen Museum Director), The Honorable Najwa Massad (Mayor of Mankato), Reverend John Moldstad (President of the ELS), Dr. Gene Pfeifer (President of Bethany Lutheran College), and a student representative from Bethany Lutheran College.
A color guard comprised of local active and retired armed forces representatives will also be present for the outdoor ceremony.
About the ELS military monument:
The ELS military monument was first proposed in 2012, and has been planned by the ELS Board for Christian Service. The purpose of this monument is to commend those Christians who have served their fellow citizens through the honorable vocation of military service and to enhance its value and appreciation among the members of the ELS, Bethany Lutheran College’s student body, and the Mankato community.
In addition to erecting this military monument, the ELS Ottesen Museum will work together with Bethany’s Christ in Media Institute in developing and hosting an electronic kiosk to recognize ELS veterans and provide their information for further reflection and research.