Monday, July 20, 2009

Support for Veterans Memorial Park stronger than ever

It was truly an honor last Tuesday to participate in a signing ceremony at Rolla City Hall to finalize the Memorandum of Understanding with the members of the South Central Regional Veterans Group and other veterans in our community for the new Veterans Memorial Park located on Southview Drive in Rolla.

As a strong supporter of all branches of the military, and a retired Colonel in the Army Reserve, it is encouraging to see the ground swell of support throughout South Central Missouri for Veterans Memorial Park. Both monetary and in-kind donations are coming in, and it is more than apparent that the first phase of the park will be completed sometime in November. The first phase of the park will include three flagpoles with a pentagonal base monument, a park master plan sign and large parking lot, all of which is in the works to be completed by Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11, 2009. Funding for future phases of the park, both monetary and in-kind, is still needed, and individuals and organizations interested in making a donation are encouraged to visit the newly designed Veterans Memorial Park Website at They gave for us, so let’s give for them!

Veterans Memorial Park will pay tribute to all branches of the military and Armed Forces, and will memorialize all those who have sacrificed – and sometimes given the ultimate sacrifice - for the freedoms we as a democratic nation enjoy today. As I stood among the many veterans who were representing the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Phelps For the Fort, Missouri University of Science and Technology R.O.T.C., Disabled American Veterans, and Korean War Veterans Association, it was quite apparent that a unified effort is more than underway for the construction of Phase 1 and the ultimate completion of Veterans Memorial Park.

A very special thank you goes out to the members of the South Central Regional Veterans Group who have worked diligently and tirelessly with City staff in the Parks and Recreation and Public Works Departments to see this park become a reality. From the numerous public meetings and planning workshops that generated input and support from the community, to the creation of the master plan for the park, Veterans Memorial Park has been embraced as a much needed and highly regarded project that is gaining the interest, support and momentum it deserves.

There are very few people in this community who do not have a close relative, friend or neighbor who has served or is currently serving in the U.S. military and fewer still who don’t know personally someone who is a veteran. So I’m confident that Veterans Memorial Park will be a tremendous asset to our community and all of South Central Missouri where veterans and their family members and loved ones can be part of something that fosters unity, pride and respect for the tremendous contributions our veterans and active service members have made and are making to provide us peace, security and freedom.

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