Freelance writer Anna Pratt did a fantastic job writing about our trip to Normandy and it was an honor to be published on the front page of the Metro section with a huge jump to the back page. She interviewed Matti, Mr. H. and Virgil's brother Wendell and pulled them all together quite thoroughly. 

As you can read in the article, we are expanding our research and our website to include all Minnesota soldiers buried at the Normandy Cemetery so please contact us with your details. 

Wendell Tangborn
09/30/2013 2:34pm


Michael Kaye link

07/04/2013 9:05pm

After watching this beautiful tribute to Virgil my hope and faith for the future of humanity is restored. To know that young people care and remember the sacrifices made 69 years later gives my soul a sense of peace. Thank you.



07/04/2013 9:14pm

I am glad that I waited until July 4th to watch this for the first time since the day we were at the cemetery. It is still just as powerful, and the last paragraph of Matti's letter perfectly captures the essence of Virgil's sacrifice as well as the meaning of days like today.

Thanks for posting!


Wendell Tangborn link

07/04/2013 10:49pm

Dear Mattie,

Thank you for the beautiful tribute to Virgil that you wrote and then read with such deep feeling and emotion. It is comforting for me to know that he has not been forgotten.


Roberta Post

07/05/2013 9:11am

Could you ever have imagined, you, your parents and family, the impact your brother would have that is so ongoing. It brings extra special meaning to the phrase, not to have died in vain.


Andrea Lewis link

07/05/2013 9:37am

Dear Mattie,
Thank you for your heartfelt tribute to Virgil. You captured him so well, and we are so moved to hear this eulogy in his honor.


Cynthia Ellis

07/07/2013 9:51am

Dear Mattie -- I have known of Virgil for many years through my relationship with Wendell and Andrea. Because of your words, I now have a clearer picture of this amazing man. I was deeply moved by your compassion for Virgil, your wonderful articulation of what he meant to the world and to you, and your commitment to honoring our brave soldiers and their families.


Patricia Tangborn

07/07/2013 10:24am

I am married to Virgil's nephew and have heard so much about Virgil for many years and I want to thank you for your awesome tribute you paid to him. It makes me feel like I know him better.


Douglas Tangborn

07/07/2013 10:29am

I am Virgil's nephew and enjoyed Matti's eulogy to Virgil very much. Nice job!!


Paula and Nick Mattila

07/07/2013 5:58pm

As Matti's maternal grandparents, we are so very proud of her and her tribute to Virgil. Her grandpa, as a Viet Nam veteran, is especially appreciative anytime a veteran is honored in any way and she did a beautiful job!


Eric Tangborn

07/12/2013 8:15pm

Dear Matti,

Thank you for the nice comments about my uncle. You did a very beautiful job.


Susan Leonelli Tangborn

07/12/2013 8:28pm

Dear Matti,
Your efforts to better understand Virgil as a young man really brought him to life for those of us who never met him. Virgil would have been honored to have such a beautifully prepared, heartfelt tribute. Thank you and best wishes to you.


Ann Teplick

07/14/2013 11:26am

This is such a beautiful tribute to Virgil and beautifully delivered by Matti. I learned so much! May we always reach beyond statistics to celebrate, honor, and remember.


Berdie Krimmel

07/15/2013 10:00pm

Thank you for sharing this touching video by this young woman about your brother. As painful as if must be, I hope that the remembrance and recognition outweigh reliving the sorrow. The losses are all our losses. I’m glad that these stay fresh in our collective experience and feel it is important to pass these memories onto future generations. I forwarded the link on to Steph and Craig. I know they will appreciate it as well – having experienced the Normandy cemeteries themselves.


Allan Sonsteng

07/25/2013 2:19pm

Thank you, Wendell, for forwarding Matti's tribute to Virgil. It is really nice that a young person is willing to get involved in remembering someone that they have never known. Allan

Virginia, MN


Steve Werle

07/30/2013 12:27pm

Thank you so much for sharing Matti’s beautiful tribute with me. What a remarkably poised and wise young woman! I continue to share Virgil’s story with my history students year after year, and they are always moved by his words and actions. He is such a fine example of the many unique elements that make up the human condition – freedom, choice, sacrifice, sorrow, redemption and memory. I am so glad his story is continuing to reach young people.

Steve Werle
Minneapolis, MN


Gunilla Hallberg

08/05/2013 9:38am

Dear Wendell,

thank you so much for your mail with the address to the memorial of Virgil Tangborn. It was very interesting to see the young woman and listen to her reading her letter with so much true emotion and respect.

Toulouse, France


Rob Crawford

08/20/2013 11:11am

Hi Wendell,

I just watched Matti's eulogy for Virgil. Very moving! I loved hearing the things she said about his life and aspirations. Thanks for sending.


Arnold (Archie) Tangborn & Arlene Tangborn
10/02/2013 2:09pm

I am another brother of Virgil's and was very impressed at how well you captured him in your Memorial Web site. It certainly brought back a lot of memories from many years ago. What a wonderful thing you did. You made both of us feel as though you knew Virgil personally. Thank you so much for the memories and tribute.


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