A group of Lafayette veterans are working to raise the funding necessary to complete construction on a Veterans Memorial Garden in Lafayette Central Park.
Army veteran Tom Grote says they realize there is a memorial park in Lafayette, but he says it’s more of a park where kids play.
He says they are hoping to build an area that provides the serenity and quiet while people read about and pay honor to the men and women who have served in the United States military.
The design for the planned memorial is complete. It will feature 13 tall slabs that will each have descriptions of conflicts the United States has been involved in, beginning with the American Revolution.
Across from these pillars will be benches. In the center will be a grassy area which will provide enough space for seating up to 700 people for events that may be planned there. Throughout the acre of land the memorial sits on will be a walkway paved with bricks.
The public is encouraged to sponsor a brick in honor of a veteran, living or deceased.
There are two choices for the bricks. A smaller 4″ x 8″ brick allows for up to three lines of text. The committee’s co-chair and a veteran himself, Dr. Skip Palmintier, says the cost of the three-lined brick is $100. A bigger version, 8″ x 8″, that allows for up to five lines of text is $250. Dr. Palmintier says a veteran’s name, rank, where they served, their branch of the military, or other verbiage can be inscribed.
The park’s Executive Director E.B. Brooks explains that the veterans were at each meeting when the park was being planned, and the committee was happy to provide the space. She says the utilities have already been run and, once the goal of $1-million is reached, construction on the rest of the Veterans Memorial Garden can begin.
So far, they have raised about $650,000 toward that goal, and Brooks says the rest of the construction won’t take long once it begins.
Anyone wishing to sponsor a brick can do so. The veterans encourage people from all over Acadiana to participate in this memorial. It is not limited only to Lafayette residents.
If you’d like to sponsor a brick, you can do so at the park’s website (link here). You can also make other donations as you are able.
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