Legislators seek to honor late Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Gen. John Vessey, a Minnesotan chosen by President Ronald Reagan to lead the nation's military, may soon be honored at the Minnesota State Capitol. Brainerd-area lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday honoring the late Minnesotan who served as Chai...
Gen. John Vessey, a Minnesotan chosen by President Ronald Reagan to lead the nation's military, may soon be honored at the Minnesota State Capitol.
Brainerd-area lawmakers introduced a bill Thursday honoring the late Minnesotan who served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and passed away last year. The bill gives Vessey his own honorary day, as well as a statue to be placed in the State Capitol building.
"As a dedicated servant to the United States of America, General John Vessey dedicated his life to military service, volunteering for the Minnesota Army National Guard in 1939 and then going on to serve our country in World War II and the Vietnam War, and also by holding military posts in Germany, Korea, and as a special emissary to Vietnam," the bill text said.
As the member of the House of Representatives whose district was in the same area as Vessey's home near Little Whitefish Lake, west of Mille Lacs Lake, Rep. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin, was tapped to introduce the bill. He described it Thursday as an honor.
"He's one from our area, a great Minnesotan, a great patriot," Lueck said.
Although the deadline for committees in the Legislature to act favorably on bills is fast approaching, Lueck wasn't worried. The bill includes an appropriations measure to cover the funds necessary for the statue and landscaping. Since it affects the state's budget, Lueck said the deadline facing the bill is later than that for bills that only affect policy.
No specific costs were outlined for the project.
March 10-a week from Friday-is the deadline for policy bills, and March 31 is the deadline for financial and appropriations bills.
The bill tasks the Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board with selecting a statue design from a pool of public submissions. In addition to the statute, the bill designates June 29, Vessey's birthday, as General John Vessey Day in Minnesota.
Sen. Carrie Ruud, R-Breezy Point, introduced the companion bill to Lueck's in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said Thursday that he supported the bill.