The Garner Veterans Memorial is a huge leap closer to completion thanks to the Wake County Commissioners. Phil Matthews, Wake County commissioner for District 2 and Garner resident, said Tuesday, Feb. 21 that his colleagues voted to give a $50,000 donation to the memorial.
The County’s donation puts the committee at its $250,000 benchmark to begin selling personalized memorial bricks for the walkway of honor.
Matthews said he initiated the financial gift from the County after driving by Lake Benson Park one evening a few weeks ago. He saw the spotlight on the flag and the peaceful park in the background and it incited the same feelings he had walking through Arlington National Cemetery.
Matthews knew he had to get the ball rolling faster to get the memorial built by Veterans Day 2012.
A Vietnam veteran himself, Matthews said soon the front of Lake Benson Park will be “hallowed ground.”
After employing the help of Garner Veterans Memorial Committee Vice President Faye Gardner, Matthews took packets of information about the memorial to the commissioners and the Wake County manager. The Board voted unanimously Feb. 20 to give the gift out of a special fund for one-time to nonprofit organizations.
Matthews said the Board doesn’t give gifts like this too often, and he is proud to give back to his home community.
“It’s really good to bring something back to Garner,” he said.
Already, the committee is ready to sell bricks. Up to now, the committee has solicited donations from organizations and businesses and members have received a lot of support. The Town of Garner has pledged $25,000 to come out of the next budget.
“We’re a very patriotic community,” Gardner said.
Memorial bricks are available for $125 for a 4x4-inch brick and $200 for an 8x8-inch brick. For a brick order form, go to www.garnerveteransmemorial.org.
The memorial will represent the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. The committee has 62 names for the memorial so far, but still is searching for any names of Garner residents that were killed in action during one of the military conflict.
Clearscapes PA Project Architect Mon Peng Yueh, who helped come up with the design for the Garner Veterans Memorial, said the project is in the design development stage right now. The firm is working to see how the $500,000 budget can best be used to execute the project.
The memorial will look somewhat like a timeline, taking visitors from the Civil War era to today. In between the walls that represent time of military conflict will be open space that signifies peace.
Mon Peng Yueh said the concept doesn’t glorify war, but instead allows the memorial visitor to appreciate and reflect on the sacrifices made that created the peaceful community Garner has today.
Most likely, a ground breaking for the memorial will take place this summer Garner Town Clerk Judy Bass said.
Contact Kelly Griffith at email@example.com or 919-552-5675.