Hans Sageng, Mankato
— A cultural center at Reconciliation Park would memorialize for posterity not only what happened here, but how it represents what happens everywhere.
For the same reason that we need to remember any other holocaust or genocide, and for the same reason that we need to understand the crucifixion of Jesus, we need to remember and understand what happened here in Mankato, but not just who stole what and who killed who.
Everyone from 150 years ago is dead, and we will leave everything to others soon enough when we are all dead, too. Let’s identify the misplaced priorities and get this reconciliation of all people right before we leave it to our children.
The problems did not start when Europeans first came to America, and it has not been contained in America or stopped even yet. The policies of ethnic cleansing and genocide that followed the Dakota War were openly admired and emulated by Hitler, but the real solution is now within our reach.
The monuments at Reconciliation Park are a gift of the greatest value imaginable. The events memorialized there fit the big picture of our human history like the central tumbler of a great lock. The prayer and ceremony, commemorated there and at Land of Memories Park, fits that lock like a key.
We are entrusted by the Creator with this honor, potential, and responsibility to open the door and invite all people to enter.