Memorial Parks Around the Country

Memorial park is a new type of cemetery introduced about 75 years ago. Unlike traditional cemeteries which have upright monuments, memorial parks use dignified bronze markers lying flat on landscaped plots.

When it’s time for play, kids can burn off energy in one of the two tree-house themed playgrounds or on the basketball court. When it’s time for exercise, the 1.1 mile fitness loop is shaded by the park’s impressive tree canopy.

The Park’s History

The Park has served as a stage for national expressions of remembrance, observance, celebration and the exercise of First Amendment rights. From colossal monuments to commemorative gardens, from presidential inaugurals to civil rights demonstrations, the Park hosts history in the making.

Before Memorial Park existed, the land that makes up the Park was home to a forest of native plants and wildlife. In 1924, Houston’s famed Hogg family donated a portion of the land to the City to become Memorial Park, named in honor of the soldiers who had once inhabited Camp Logan.

Today, joggers will likely find little evidence that the Park was once an Army camp. That chapter of local and national history is beginning to come into clearer focus, thanks to the efforts of local advocates.

The Bald Eagle Statue

The eagle is the symbol of our national power, and it’s also an icon for freedom. This bronze statue stands in honor of our nation’s heroes at the Veterans Memorial Park in Stoughton, Wisconsin.

The statue features an obelisk-like base adorned with local stones. It has a bas-relief of an eagle with outspread wings, and it’s flanked by medallions representing the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.

A plaque on the obelisk reads “E Pluribus Unum,” meaning “Out of Many, One.” The monument was dedicated in 2005. It honors county veterans who served in all branches of the military during peacetime and wartime. There are also engraved names of those who died in service.

The Walls of Remembrance

Unlike traditional cemeteries, which require upright grave markers that take up space, Memorial Park offers flat markers that do not obstruct views. It is also easier to manage the space because it can accommodate multiple families in the same area.

The Gold Star Monument, which honors family members who were lost in the Vietnam War, is the newest addition to the Park. It follows the style guidelines set by the Woody Williams Foundation and was built in partnership with Delaware Gold Star families.

Joggers and walkers now pass through Memorial Park without any signs that it was once a teeming Army camp. But the legacy of this priceless piece of land lives on. It’s a place that opens doors to compassion and understanding. It challenges ignorance and complacency and invites vigilance against hatred and oppression.

The Gold Star Monument

The stunning black granite monument honors the families of service members who have died in the line of duty. It features two sides; one side reads “Gold Star Families” and the other tells a story through four granite panels: Homeland, Family, Patriot, and Sacrifice. Each panel shows a different scene and in the center of each is a silhouette of a fallen Hero.

The Gold Star Monument is a project of the Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation, an organization that seeks to build these monuments in all 50 states. After completing the first one in Woody’s home state of West Virginia, it became the Foundation’s mission to install them in communities across the nation.

The City of South Jordan worked closely with the local Major Brent Taylor Foundation (led by Gold Star Widow Jennie Taylor) to raise funds and get the monument installed in Veterans Memorial Park.

The AIDS Memorial

Located in the former St. Vincent’s Hospital campus, the Memorial sits at a crucial point of the city’s and the nation’s early AIDS history. The Memorial honors the people who died from AIDS in New York City and those who cared for them. It also honors the activists who organized to provide care, fight discrimination, lobby for research funding, and change drug approval processes—all of which contributed to saving millions of lives.

The national AIDS Memorial marks World AIDS Day each year with observances at the 10-acre Memorial Grove and displays of panels from the AIDS Quilt throughout the United States and internationally. Each panel bears the name of someone who died from AIDS-related causes. It is the largest living memorial project in the world.

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