Rotary Club of Arden Hills/Shoreview

We had a good group gathered on this freezing cold January morning, including frequent visiting Rotarian Ron Hughes from the Excelsior club.  Our speaker was Bob Selden, who serves as President of the Volunteer Committee for the Fort Snelling National Cemetery.  Fort Snelling's cemetery is one of 136 national cemeteries in the country and is the fourth busiest; it was dedicated in 1939 and now spans 450 acres.  There are 5,300 interments per year; currently 62% of those interments are cremation vs. 38% burials.  Only 10 years ago, this ratio was reversed.  There are a total of 232,700 interments at the cemetery.  291 of those are unknown graves from the civil war and prior.  The volunteer committee that Bob leads was created to obtain funds to maintain the cemetery.  They are currently planning to petition the National Cemetery Agency to create a new, permanent monument to the "Unknown", which is estimated will cost about $300k.  Most of the committee members also serve on the volunteer rifle squad, which provides military honors each day to veterans being interred that day.  Bob serves on the "Friday" squad, as does our own Joe Ziskovsky.  Anyone who has visited Fort Snelling knows this is a beautifully maintained, lovely place.  It has been recognized as such as it is now listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.