Memorial Park – A Place of Remembrance

There’s a sense of peace that envelopes you while walking through Memorial Park. The park has miles of hiking trails, a native zoo and camp facilities.

A new book, Memorial Park, A Priceless Legacy (Herring Press) explains how this park came to be and who it honors. It’s a fascinating read.

The History of Memorial Park

The name Memorial Park has long evoked a sense of reverence and honor. And, it was with that in mind that a local resident proposed turning the former Army camp into a living memorial for the town’s service men and women.

The idea took hold and gained the support of Miss Ima Hogg – Houston’s famous benefactor – who served as watchdog for the park until her death. She helped fund the park and was instrumental in preventing development within its borders.

Today, the Park still stands as a living memorial. It’s a beautiful place to visit, whether it’s for a jog or picnic. It is home to one of the nation’s most popular jogging trails, the Seymour Lieberman Trail. It has been visited by national and international athletes, celebrities and ordinary citizens alike. And, it is the site of several monuments honoring the town’s service members, including a Gold Star Monument.

The Gold Star Monument

Gold Star Monuments honor the families of servicemen and women who died while serving their country. These black granite monuments have four back panels, each with a different theme: homeland, family, patriots and sacrifice. The local community has discretion on which scenes are etched into the panels to best reflect their values.

On Memorial Day, Naperville’s Gold Star Families unveiled their monument at Veterans Park. The dedication ceremony included the presentation of the colors, the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the national anthem. There was also a speech from Lt. Gen. Mark Wise, a land blessing from a Native American labor leader and remarks from Congresswoman Carol Miller, Councilman Allison Longenbaugh and Mayor Stefanie Kifowit, who is a Marine veteran herself.

The monument in Lacey was the result of a combined effort by private citizens, city officials and two 501c3 non-profit organizations (the Woody Williams Foundation and the Major Brent Taylor Foundation). Individuals can purchase engraved bricks to be placed at the base of the statue in honor of their fallen loved ones.

The Vietnam War Monument

Unlike traditional memorials that honor specific images or objects, the Vietnam War Monument (VVM) is a series of polished black gabbro walls sunk into the ground. It lists the names of 58,000 servicemen who were either killed or missing in action during the conflict. Its form evokes veterans’ implicit feeling of abandonment and isolation while simultaneously promoting individual reflection.

When Maya Lin won the competition to design the memorial she was an undergraduate architecture student at Yale. As a result, when the design was unveiled there was backlash against both her and her style of memorialization.

The arrangement of the names on the wall reflects the progression of deaths during the conflict. This helps memorialize the entire experience of the war rather than focusing on just one person’s death. In addition, the placement of names is mirrored in visitors’ own reflections on the wall which connects them to those who were lost. As a result, the memorial acts as a kind of “secular pilgrimage” whereby people visit in order to mourn and to leave “artifacts of commemoration” (Lin 4). The VVM has also been visited by volunteer mourners and searchers who help visitors to the site.

The Bald Eagle Statue

A symbol of pride and strength, the bald eagle is a popular figure in many cultures. It is also associated with wisdom and knowledge. This majestic bird can be seen in many parks and nature reserves across the country. It is a beautiful addition to any home and can serve as a reminder to always strive for excellence.

A huge sculpture of a bald eagle, which was recently installed at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge in Seneca Falls, New York, commemorates a remarkable conservation success story. The massive steel sculpture was crafted by Rochester artist Jay Seaman and is 22 feet from wing tip to wing tip.

The statue is made of high-quality cast aluminum and then electroplated for added durability. It comes on a black museum mount and is suitable for indoor or outdoor display. The sculptor’s attention to detail makes this an impressive piece of aviary animal art. It is a perfect gift for any patriotic American or bird lover.

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