Honor Wall remembers area veterans at Round Lake Community Center
The exhibit at the Round Lake Community Center includes uniforms from different branches of the service as well as other artifacts.
ROUND LAKE — To Becky Strandberg, a big, empty wall in a hallway at the Round Lake Community Center was an opportunity — specifically, an opportunity to honor veterans.
“I’m somebody that likes to decorate, so I thought ‘what can we do with that area?'" said Strandberg, a community center volunteer. “And I thought ‘There’s no place in town that honors our veterans.’”
From there, the idea became a project, and over time, that project became a reality: the Honor Wall, in the Veterans Hallway at the Round Lake Community Center, which was once the local school.
The project changed over time in multiple ways. Initially, it was to be a wall honoring veterans who had graduated from the Round Lake school, but then the exhibit expanded to include veterans who lived in the area. The mechanics of the wall also changed, as an early attempt to put images up with double-sided tape resulted in the pictures falling down. Now there are boards and whiteboards on the wall, with unobtrusive frames — and yes, double-sided tape is still involved.
“And then I started looking for veterans,” Strandberg said.
She started with her own family, as three of her brothers and her father were veterans, and branched out from there. She asked for names and branches of service and pictures, as well as basic information, such as if they were in a war or had earned any major awards such as a Purple Heart or a Gold Star.
The display aspect of the project expanded as well, and now it features uniforms from World War II, the Vietnam and Korean wars, and the wars in Iraq, as well as information about the people who wore them. There is memorabilia too, like a banner dating from World War II, a captured Japanese rifle, examples of MREs, letters home, ration books from World War II and other artifacts. The displays include a wide variety of veterans, including men and women in many branches over many conflicts.
There are also copies of a project made by local students, who interviewed veterans and wrote about them, putting them into book form.
Donations from the Worthington Elks Lodge and Round Lake American Legion totaled $600 and also contributed to the project.
People can still submit photos and artifacts to the project. The display will be permanent, and visitors can see it whenever the Round Lake Community Center is open. To ensure it will be open for a visit, call Strandberg at (507) 360-0733.