It’s an honor to veterans, and a place for community members to come together, share their talents and thrive– the Luther-supported Centennial Civic & Veterans Memorial Amphitheater in Brooklyn Center was ushered in with full honors in early October.
“If you stand up here and look out, you see this huge vista of a park,” said Mayor Tim Willson. “In my opinion this is going to be a great, great community builder. It’s going to be a great place for entertainment and for events.”
“This stage will be a world for many to showcase their talents, to experience fear and to experience triumph.” City Manager Curt Boganey
After the Palmer Lake VFW Color Guard marched Old Glory to the stage, Keith Lester, retired superintendent for the Brooklyn Center school district, led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the Star-Spangled Banner. Short speeches and military songs from the five branches of the armed forces followed.
The fundraising chair, retired area physician Dr. Duane Orn, whose wife came up with the amphitheater idea, basked in the mild weather. “All I can say is, October 6 in Minnesota. In this wonderful, beautiful day with the sunshine and the blue sky and the fluffy clouds– somebody out there must think we’re doing things right. What do you think?”
The mayor said one of the biggest successes with the project was how a citizens committee put together the concept, raised the funds and brought it to completion. He said a former mayor, the late Phil Cohen, would be very proud. The idea for the new structure coincided with the city’s 100th anniversary of incorporation in
2011. A Centennial Committee was formed, and recommended that funds be raised from non-government sources, Orn explained. Luther Auto was the lead sponsor at $150,000.
City Manager Curt Boganey said the project was a high water mark for him, and something he will cherish forever.
It’s been said that the whole world is a stage, the manager continued. This stage will be a world for many to showcase their talents, to experience fear and to experience triumph, he said. “An ensemble, a soloist, a band, each will build self-confidence, skills and life-involving talents. That’s what I see when I look at this stage. Congratulations to Brooklyn Center.”