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'Sacred responsibility': After 20 years, Bemidji Veterans Home opens with a long wait list

Some 300 veterans are on the wait-list for the 72-bed care facility

BEMIDJI, Minn. - Veterans in northern Minnesota now have a new place to call home.

At a dedication ceremony Monday attended by Gov. Tim Walz, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Pete Stauber, the crowd gave unending applause to officials and advocates who made the longtime dream of a veterans home here a reality. But gratitude extended mostly to the residents who served in the military and the staff who are dedicated to serving the region's aging veterans.

"Thank you for taking on this sacred responsibility," Walz said to hundreds of people gathered under a large white tent Monday. "As long as this nation will stand, this home will be here. As long we have veterans, we're here to care for them. And as you look around, and you see staff in those red shirts, these are high-demand jobs, they could work anywhere. They chose to work here because it's more than a job - it's a mission. They know they're caring for this nation's heroes."


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