The North Bend Eagle


Improved sign makes honoring veterans easier, warmer

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 4/2/14

The North Bend Veteran’s Memorial Park was built to honor those who have served in the military. A sign on the east side of the park states this. There was a series of 3-brass track strips that spelled out “All Veterans.”

Each time a veteran passes away, the strips are cleared letter-by-letter on the funeral day and the veteran’s name is insert. It is to signify to North Bend and the American people that this person put on our nation’s uniform and made a commitment.

North Bend Veterans Park

Dan Minarick was driving through town one day when it was well below freezing with a wind which, in his words, “cut through you like a knife.”

“The snow was blowing across the road as I drove down Main Street,” he said. “I witnessed Butch Ott kneeling before the sign changing out these letters. It was beyond inspirational to watch ‘Uncle Sam’ spacing the letters out perfectly to give tribute to a fallen comrade. The discipline and commitment to follow orders through is still unwavering no matter the conditions. I went about my day, as many do, eventually giving thought to the task at hand. That image of a man two generations older than myself in frigid temperatures remained with me.”

A few weeks later Ott approached Minarick, owner of Steel Creations, about a more efficient way to change the park sign.

Minarick designed and cut a sign that says “All Veterans” to be permanently installed. Then he made a rectangular plaque incorporating the original brass strips and using the original letters. The letters of an individual veteran’s name on the sign can be hung on the plaque in the warmth of the VFW hall. Then they simply open the sign at the park and hang the plaque on the preset screws.
Minarick hoped that for anyone in charge of changing the sign it makes all the difference in the world. Ott, Caroll Weibold and Bob Moser take turns changing the names and Ott said that the change really simplified the process.

“The (park) committee and guys who do the work really appreciate what Dan has done,” Ott said.

Minarick felt this was his donation to the Park.

“I have a complete respect for the sacrifice so many have made,” he said. “I live free to build a business and offer my services only because of what these men and women have so selflessly given for us. I am the grateful one here.”


<<Back to the front page