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Ken Flies has been tracking down graves of Minnesota soldiers killed in the Civil War. Photo by Jerry Holt, Minneapolis Star Tribune. Appeared in Nov. 11 edition of the StarTribune.

Today we celebrate Veterans’ Day by honoring those who have served and continue to serve in the U.S. armed forces. Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day are the two days of the year where cemeteries are in the spotlight. Sure enough, I opened to the Metro section of the Minneapolis StarTribune today and saw a story on a group that is tracking down the graves of Minnesota Civil War soldiers killed in battle.

These gravestones, if they even exist, are crumbling and eroded. Members of Gov. Dayton’s Soldiers’ Recognition subcommittee are planning to erect new gravestones for the soldiers. Part of the plan is to put computer chips on the markers which people can scan with mobile devices to learn more about the Civil War and the soldier.

Only 18 such graves are known to exist. Most of the 800 Minnesota soldiers killed in the Civil War were buried elsewhere, such as battlefield cemeteries. Some of the ones brought home had made their wishes known in writing.

I think it’s great that people are working to make sure these soldiers are not forgotten. I would love to see the new gravestones when they are erected.

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