Governor Dayton joined Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, Representative Dean Urdahl and other Members of the Governor’s Civil War Commemoration Task Force Thursday to recognize their efforts to honor the service of Minnesota Civil War soldiers. The Task Force was established last year by Governor Dayton to help Minnesotans remember the service of over 18,000 Minnesotans who served in the Civil War. Beginning on Memorial Day, the Task Force will be placing a special flag they have designed at the resting places of 150 of those soldiers around the state, with the goal of eventually providing one of those flags for all Civil War soldiers buried in Minnesota.
On Monday, the Task Force will be holding a rededication ceremony for the grave of Lt. David Oakes at Oakland Cemetery. Lt. Oakes was killed in battle 150 years ago this weekend, and was one of only four soldiers killed during the Civil War, who were actually born in Minnesota. A larger version of the flag created by the Task Force will fly at Oakland Cemetery in St. Paul.
About the Task Force, Governor Dayton said, “I want to thank the Members of the Civil War Commemoration Task Force for their excellent leadership, and everyone else supporting the Civil War Soldier’s Recognition Project. They have given admirably of their time and talents to help all Minnesotans remember and honor the soldiers who bravely served our state and helped save our nation 150 years ago.” “Minnesota Civil War soldiers who served their nation and swore to uphold the constitution dutifully during a tumultuous time in our nation’s history deserve to be remembered,” said Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. “As we work to honor and support our returning veterans today with programs like Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, we must also come together and remember the sacrifices of those who served 150 years ago.”
Representative Dean Urdahl added, “Hundreds of thousands Americans died fighting the Civil War. Even though the war was 150 years ago, we must never forget those who sacrificed to preserve our union. These flags and our efforts are a small first step to remember all those who served.”
More information on the Governor’s Civil War Commemoration Task Force and their efforts to honor Minnesota’s Civil War Veterans can be found at http://www.mncivilwar150.com/ .