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The late Herman Stern of Valley City, ND honored at Veterans Memorial Park

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Valley City, ND (WDAY/WDAZ News) - A dedication Saturday morning in memory of former Valley City businessman and humanitarian, Herman Stern.

Stern is the first recipient with a program for the State Historical Society highlighting people or places of national significance in North Dakota.

A new piece of history proudly stands at Veterans Memorial Park in Valley City.

"I'll be any place and somebody will come up to tell me a story about my grandfather. How he impacted their life," said Rick Stern, Herman's Grandson.

This marker, the first of it's kind in our state, to honor the life and legacy of Herman Stern.

Stern was an immigrant to North Dakota, moving here from Germany in 1903 looking for a new life.

"He could be measured on what he could accomplish, how he could share and how he could bring and what he could bring to the community. The fact that he was Jewish was not that important," said Jerry Klinger, Jewish American Society for Preservation.

He worked for his family's clothing store Straus Clothing, later becoming the manager for the Valley City store for over 70 years.

He became a key figure in the town, starting the ND Winter Show, founded the Greater North Dakota Association, and was heavily involved with the Boy Scouts of America.

"He had no trouble being accepted by the community and embraced," said Rick Stern.

His accomplishments didn't stop in Valley City, in the 1930s Herman and his wife helped over 125 Jewish refugees escape from Nazi Germany during the Holocaust.

Which is why he is the first recipient for the historical society's marker program.

"There are a lot of great stories and places that other people don't know about in our state," said Lisa Steckler, State Historical Society.

Here for all to see.

"Everybody here knew what a great person he was, but if he can still inspire people after all these years," said Rick Stern.

Valley City folks say they couldn't have found a better person, but he might have disagreed with that.

"I'm sure Herman would have hated every minute of this because he was a very humble man," said Wes Anderson, Barnes Co. Historical Society.

Stern was also inducted into the Theodore Roosevelt Roughrider Hall of Fame in 2014.

Cassandra Rohlfing

After working part time at WDAY-TV during her college career, Cassandra – who goes by Cassie, joined the WDAY news team full-time in January as an Online Editor/Weekend Producer. She switched over to Reporter/Multimedia Journalist in June and is excited to work on stories you want to see!  She was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, ND and is part Turtle Mountain Chippewa. Cassie graduated from  North Dakota State University in December of 2015 with a degree in Journalism, and an emphasis in Broadcasting. Cassie bleeds green and gold and is an avid Bison Football fan who attended every home game in her college career, thanks to being a part of the Gold Star Marching Band. Her hobbies include binge watching TV shows on Netflix, attempting to work out, and getting outside when she can. If you have any questions/story ideas feel free to email or call. 

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