Iron Range Veterans' Memorial
The Iron Range Veterans Memorial—located in Chisholm next to the entrance to Minnesota Discovery Center—was dedicated on October 14, 2000. That date is noteworthy, for it marks General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s birthday (1890) and Nazi Germany’s withdrawal from the Geneva disarmament conference and the League of Nations (1933).
Led by members Henry Brusacoram (1925-2006), Dennis Jacobson (1942-), and Paul Marturano, Sr. (1927-), American Legion Press-Lloyd Post No. 247 (Chisholm) led the effort to update the memorial site. The original memorial consisted of the United States, Minnesota, and POW/MIA flags. These flags now ascend from a star shaped cutout filled with white rock.
Behind this trio is a second row of eight service flags representing the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Merchant Marine, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Navy, and Public Health Services. A rock wall that resembles the remains of a bombed out shelter encloses the memorial. Through a window in the wall, observers can spy the Iron Man statue, which signifies, in part, the area miners’ contributions to President Roosevelt’s famed “Arsenal of Democracy.”
The memorial is flanked on either side by federally loaned military vehicles. To the left is a Minnesota National Guard UH-1H Iroquois “Huey” helicopter while a M60A3 tank rests to the right. Post members estimated that the memorial’s expansion cost nearly $130,000, primarily with in-kind services and additional donations.
In 2004, a Lockheed F-94C Starfire (serial number 51-13570 painted as 51-13560) joined the fight. These fighters last actively served with Duluth’s 179th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron in 1959. Former squadron photographer and Press-Lloyd Post No. 247 member Lou Novak (1927-2014) spearheaded the effort to transfer the jet from Chisholm’s Minnesota Museum of Mining to the memorial. Duluth’s 148th Fighter Wing refurbished the jet, and Hibbing’s Furin & Shea fabricated the support structure—all as in-kind services.
In 2012, Navy veterans were feted with the addition of an 11-ton anchor from USS Mount Baker (AE-4). The anchor is surrounded by a ring of projectiles. The memorial’s most recent addition—a granite monument listing Chisholm’s fallen soldiers—arrived in 2014. The monument had been displayed previously in the courtyard between Chisholm’s city hall and public library.