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Minnesota Vietnam Memorial

VietNam Memorial

Designed: 1992

Artists & Architects: Nina Ackerberg, Stanton Sears, Jake Castillo, and Rich Laffin.

Location: This memorial is located to the north of the Veterans Service Building.

Description: Granite and inlaid green stones. "Lakefront DMZ" was created by artists and architects Nina Ackerberg, Stanton Sears, Jake Castillo, and Rich Laffin, winners of a national design competition that garnered 218 entries, and was built by the James Steele Construction Company.

A red granite map of Indochina forms the entrance to the memorial. A winding concrete pathway literally brings you home from Southeast Asia. A directory will help you find a particular name. The main plaza is surfaced with 68,000 granite squares, each representing a Minnesotan who served. 1,120 of the squares are dark green, these mark the hometowns of the Minnesotans who did not return. All 1,120 names of Minnesota’s KIAs and MIAs are engraved in this dark green granite wall. A limestone representation of a house façade furthers the theme of homecoming. Minnesota dolomitic limestone walls echo the feel of our limestone riverbanks. Pools, streams, and native Minnesota trees and shrubs add to the sense of coming home.

Stanton Gray Sears is a sculptor and Associate Professor in the Department of Art at Macalester College, St. Paul who holds degrees from the Rhode Island School of Design and from Penn State University. Nina Ackerberg and Jake Castillo were students of Professor Sears at Macalester College. Richard Laffin, AIA, is an architect formerly with TEA2 Architects.