I would like to add a bit of history to your Sept. 17 Letter to the Editor regarding the maple trees around the Veterans Memorial at Soldiers Field.

During the summer of 2000, a group of Rochester Masons gathered and planted 20 maple trees around the memorial. A large boulder was placed near the memorial with a bronze plaque dedicating the grove to the memory of all veterans on behalf of the Masonic Fraternity.

The grove was donated by Alan Koenig and the members of his family.

Later, on June 24, 2000, the officers of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota gathered around the boulder for a symbolic dedication of it and the new trees. The current Grand Master of Minnesota, Philip Soderberg of Rochester, presided. In addition to members of the public and other dignitaries, Mayor Canfield also spoke.

Later, a second plaque was added to the boulder to commemorate the event.

The Masonic Fraternity continues to assist all veterans through its national Masonic Service Association. This local event typified the ongoing commitment of the entire Masonic Fraternity to veterans everywhere.

Ken Allsen, Rochester

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