Located 15 minutes from the Mall of America, our mission is to create rest and reflection areas where visitors may experience the Bill of Rights and honor fallen members of the Red Bulls who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedoms.
Our Story: The Vision
A group of interested Rosemount residents, among them Jack Warweg, Bud Curley and Ed McMenomy, Sr., came together to share their vision of honoring veterans. This group organized Rosemount’s Veterans Memorial Walk, a Minnesota non-profit corporation in 2007. They have worked to finance and build a meaningful Veterans Memorial on the Koch Minnesota Trail, which is located in Central Park in Rosemount, MN. As time went on, the focus broadened, and the project is now known as Freedom Walk of America™.
To give further insight to what motivated this effort, we offer the story of a life-long Rosemount resident and veteran, Ed McMenomy, Sr.
“I was born on December 17, 1925, and was afflicted with ‘asthmatic bronchitis’ since birth. Grandpa McMenomy predicted that I ‘wouldn’t make it.’ I grew up on the McMenomy dairy farm, three miles northeast of Rosemount. Because of my breathing condition, I could not attend school regularly and flunked the second grade. My graduation from Rosemount High School was therefore delayed until June, 1944.
I was drafted into the U.S. Army on January 24, 1945, and honorably discharged on December 7, 1946. I was trained in Texas as an ‘infantry replacement,’ and was on a troop ship headed for Okinawa (the staging area for the invasion of the Japanese homeland) when Japan surrendered in August, 1945. Two years in the second grade probably saved my life.
“On Okinawa I served as clerk arranging transportation for the troops to return to the U.S. My daily job was to interview each returnee and to send him where he wanted to go. I was therefore an eyewitness to the condition now called PTSD. We need to make sure our current returnees get the help they need.
“I was mustered out of the U.S. Army at Fort Sheridan, Illinois. My doctor said, ‘You have spots on your lungs; I’m giving you a temporary partial disability.’
“This translated into a check of about $10 per month and six years of college with all expenses paid. I graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1952 and succeeded as a lawyer in Hastings and Rosemount.
“I owe a debt to my country which I will never be able to repay. I will remain a sustaining member of Freedom Walk of America™ in a continuing effort of repayment.”
|Our Father, Who art in Heaven
Hallowed be thy name
My search for you continues
Without rancor, hate or blameWe have not found our way yet
And time is running low
We face nuclear destruction
There will be no afterglowWe must contain our anger
We must contain our greed
We must overcome our differences
And find someone to lead (us)Through the religious chasms
That now separate mankind
Over the mountains of dead bodies
Its only then we’ll findTrue peace and true safety
True contentment and surely more
True freedom and true honesty
A World devoid of war
Our Story: Our Progress
The Freedom Walk of America™ office is located in the Dakota Central Office Building at 14450 South Robert Trail, Suite 203 in Rosemount. This office is adjacent to Central Park and the Koch Minnesota Trail. The proximity of our office enables a hands-on approach to the project as well as emphasizing its local character.
We have a maintenance contract with the City of Rosemount, which has been in effect since 2009. Further, the City of Rosemount has approved our use of a 1600 ft. segment of the Koch Minnesota Trail to build a Red Bull Memorial and ten “rest and reflection” areas. These reflection areas celebrate our Bill of Rights, part of our American heritage that our veterans fought to preserve.
Our Story: Our Support
We are grateful to the following organizations for their support.
City of Rosemount – Mayor Bill Droste
City of Rosemount Park Board – Park Director Dan Schultz
34th Infantry Red Bulls
Rosemount American Legion
Rosemount Veterans of Foreign Wars
Rosemount Vietnam Veterans
Our Board of Directors:
Our Board of Directors consists of five members who are dedicated to making the Freedom Walk of America™ a reality.
Sue Nivala (President)
Carol Groff (Secretary)
Kenny Kranz (CEO)
Master Sargent Daniel Ewer (Military Consultant)
Mark Toombs (Treasurer)
Past Board Members:
Ed McMenomy, Sr.
Sister Mary Louise McKenna, School Sisters of Notre Dame
Ed McMenomy, Jr.
Jeff Nivala, Jr.
Our Story: Our Activities
We have participated in many local activities by hosting an informational booth for the public, by describing our project and by selling walkway memorials.
|Rosemount’s Leprechaun Days|
Rosemount’s Memorial Day Celebration (picture of activity)
*34th Infantry Red Bull Reunion
We hosted a successful fundraiser at Carbone’s Restaurant in Rosemount in October, 2015. We raised approximately $5,000.00 through ticket sales and a silent auction.