A memorial park differs from traditional cemeteries by using flat bronze markers to memorialize a grave. They also tend to have more park-like landscaped grounds and include sculpture, statuary and fountains to create an atmosphere of natural beauty and peace for quiet meditation.
An engraved bronze marker paired with a polished granite base is a beautiful way to memorialize your loved one. The cemetery offers many personalization options to suit your family’s needs.
The Gold Star Monument
The Gold Star Monument in memorial park is a flat, sculptured bronze plaque that lies level with the ground. Unlike traditional cemeteries, which have upright tombstones, memorial parks use similar flat plaques that blend into the landscape rather than occupy a prominent position in the cemetery’s primary design. They often include large areas of grass, trees, flowering beds and gardens, as well as central water or statuary features.
The monument is a tribute to all members of the family, including spouses, parents, children, stepchildren, adopted children, brothers, sisters, half-brothers and half-sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews, who have lost a loved one serving in the military. It was commissioned by the Gold Star Families Memorial Foundation and sponsored by the Major Brent Taylor Foundation to honor the families of the fallen service members who have died in military service.
When the name of her brother was spoken at the unveiling of a Gold Star monument in Stamford’s Memorial Park, Patricia Parry cried. She had hoped that the ceremony would give her family a place to remember.
The Vietnam War Monument
The centerpiece of the park is the Vietnam War Monument, a two-acre site dominated by two black granite walls engraved with names of service members who died in South East Asia during the war. The names are arranged so that the first and last name at each end of the wall appear to meet in the center. This is meant to symbolize that the war ended where it began, with a sense of completion.
Maya Lin’s minimal design won a nationwide competition sponsored by the Veterans Memorial Fund, but her decision to forgo a figurative heroic sculpture in favor of the walls caused controversy. Ultimately, a bronze figurative statue designed by Frederick Hart was added to the memorial as a compromise.
The monument also features walkways of bricks, engraved with veterans’ names and branch of service. Those who wish to honor a veteran can purchase a brick in the memorial park’s office. The inner circle of bricks is reserved for veterans who served during the Vietnam War, and the outer for veterans of other wars or conflicts or anyone wishing to show their respect and support.
The Bald Eagle Statue
The bald eagle is an American symbol. It flies higher and sees more clearly than other birds. The eagle also represents strength, courage and freedom.
The memorial honors those who died serving their country. The monument consists of an obelisk base covered with a mosaic of local stones. A bald eagle is perched atop the obelisk. Below the eagle are five jet black granite tablets etched with each branch of the military service. Walkways of bricks engraved with veterans names, branch and service dates radiate from the memorial’s base.
A statue of a bald eagle carries an unfurled American flag in this monument to the brave men and women who served their country. The statue stands on a triangular site that was the former St. Vincent’s Hospital campus. The site was designed through a community review process. The monument was dedicated on October 21, 1982. The dedication ceremony was attended by representatives of the Norwegian Navy and Merchant Marine.
The Memorial Arch
Dedicated in 1917, this arch honors General George Washington and the Continental Army for their survival at Valley Forge, the military camp 18 miles northwest of Philadelphia where the Continental troops spent the winter of 1777-78 during the American Revolutionary War. Starvation, disease, and malnutrition caused the death of more than 2,500 soldiers.
Its styles are meant to mirror a simplified version of the Triumphal Arch of Titus in Rome that commemorated the defeat of the Roman Emperor in A.D. 70. Keller reworked previous designs to accommodate practical exigencies. For example, rather than constructing the arch at both ends of the Ford Street bridge as others had proposed, he placed it on one end to minimize engineering expenses.
The arch is adorned with a classical sculptured frieze and two medieval towers joined by a Gothic arch. Its soaring height and massive presence make it one of the most recognizable monuments in the city. Its gleaming bronze eagle has a story of its own; it was pushed off its perch in 1988 by three young vandals and required substantial repairs.