By Coastal Breeze News Staff
The journey to a completed Veterans’ Park has been seven years in the making so far, from the initial proposal by the local VFW Post to completion of the first phase: a series of flags, benches and paving stones. An ambitious plan for a new Veterans’ Memorial Fountain and Flag Plaza for Veteran’s Park got the green light at the December 20 city council meeting.
Phase II of the Veterans’ Park Memorial will include the installation of a fountain and flag plaza. The committee’s goal is to dedicate these enhancements next Veteran’s Day; November 11, 2013. The Veterans’ Memorial fundraising committee assured City Council that private funding will be able to cover the cost of these additions and that no taxpayer dollars will be required. The estimated cost is less than $150,000.
A new “Flag Plaza” will be created, incorporating the flag poles of the existing American flag, Marco Island flag, State of Florida flag, and the POW/MIA flag. Designers, Kimley-Horn and Associates have designed pavers and a walkway to connect this area to the memorial and the new fountain, utilizing the original Phase I design. The “Flag Plaza” will provide a small seating area and planter with patriotic flowers.
The new Memorial Fountain will face the entrance to the Veterans’ Memorial. The Memorial Fountain will be approximately 20 feet in diameter and feature a bronze eagle at the top. It will incorporate symbols of the five branches of the military, and provide ample space for individuals to inscribe names in honor or in memory of veterans. Adjacent to the new fountain will be four benches, similar to those surrounding the existing Veterans’ Memorial.
The sale of inscribed pavers and military branch medallions for the Veteran’s Memorial is ongoing, and the community is encouraged to contribute to the memorial now.
Applications are available at the site of the Veterans’ Memorial, at the Veterans’ Memorial table at Farmer’s Market (every Wednesday), as well as by calling Patty Mastronardi at 239/389-5035. Funds raised by the committee are held in a restrictive account by the City of Marco Island, and are tax deductible to contributors. Questions should be directed to Chairman Lee Rubenstein (marcoump@)aol.com).