Boy Decides to Build a Memorial for Veterans After Realizing There Wasn’t One.
By: Keira Gong
Dominique Claseman, a 17-year-old who lives in Olivia in Minnesota, realized that there were no memorials for veterans in his town, and wanted to make one himself. His family has always been in the military: his dad, his grandfather, and his great grandfather, so wanted to show respect for what they have done.
Soon finding out that there was no memorial for the hard work his family and many others had done, he decided that this was a great opportunity to build one. He started to build with others help. His plan was to build "[a] walkway with 21 boot steps and pavers on the side, along with a main stone and a couple flags."
But money was a problem, since he was building this from scratch he needed a lot of money, but thankfully he had a plan to start a fundraiser. After the end of the fundraiser, he raised a total of 77,777 dollars. The memorial was revealed on the perfect day, Memorial Day. The finished product included 280 soldiers, scenery, places to rest/sit, and in the background, there were flags. Claseman was getting good feedback from his neighbors, as he said, "[t]here's one person that came up to me and they said that they are so happy to see this.”
The last part of the memorial was Dominique’s favorite; 21 boot steps going to the flag poles, representing the 21-gun salute. An NPR article says, “[h]is father helped him by putting on the combat boots he wore when he served and making the prints.”
This is definitely a great achievement for him but many wonder what he is planning on doing next with his brothers.
Sources from Article: https://www.npr.org/2022/08/07/1115439580/veterans-memorial-fundraiser-minnesota-eagle - scouts