MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Chief Petty Officer Alan Dix retired from the Navy, but he’s still dedicated to serving those who serve our country.

As chair of the Minnesota Veterans Team Members Network for Wells Fargo, he helped make the idea of a tribute bell a reality.

The bell contains dozens of military items donated by the community, all with deep personal meaning.

“We had a box in every branch in Minnesota and asked people to bring their stuff in, and we had some really interesting donations,” Dix said.

Bill Coy donated one of his father’s dog tags.

“He was stationed in Germany during the Korean war, but he met my mom in Germany so we trace all of us back to that meeting through the military in Germany,” Coy said.

It was an easy decision for the family.

“It’s beautiful, but it’s also permanent,” Coy said. “Instead of visiting a cemetery, we can say hey the bell’s going to be at the 4th of July parade, we should go.”

MACV’s Jon Lovald says the bell’s portability is part of what makes it so special

“Any organization that has the capacity to pull a small trailer will be able to come and check this out from MACV and take it to their location,” Lovald said.

It’s a moving symbol for the community.

“It’s a reminder of everybody who’s gone before us, the people that are out there serving right now and it’s also a motivator for the future,” Dix said.

Mike Augustyniak