Veteran's memorial begins to take shape
It may be ambitious but a concept plan for the Veteran's Memorial Walk in Rosemount has been approved by the parks and recreation commission. Now the members of the group creating the memorial can go forth and make the concept a reality.
Although the item wasn't on Monday night's parks meeting agenda, several members of the group attended hoping to get the plan approved. The commission obliged and with that the project can move forward.
The group hopes to create a memorial for all military veterans along the east side of the Koch Trail north of Central Park. The memorial will begin with a decorative sign just north of the park's two hockey rinks. Pavers in honor of military personnel will line the trail. At different points along the trail there will be bump outs where walkers can reflect.
There is already a veteran's memorial in Central Park. But that only honors those from Rosemount who died in service. The Veteran's Memorial Walk will honor all military veterans from anywhere.
Some communication issues between the city and the group have slowed progress on the memorial. Even on Monday some issues seemed to persist, as the group was not on the agenda.
At the October parks meeting the commission was ready to pass the concept plan, but there was some confusion as to whether the plan was what the group wanted. The commission has insisted the group have a professionally drawn concept plan to move forward with the project.
Parks supervisor Dan Schultz said a clear vision was necessary even if it took years to build so future commissions and groups know what the expectations are and can continue to work towards the goal.
Speaking on behalf of the veterans memorial group Ed McMenomy Jr. said the concept is ultimately what the group wants but that the group didn't want to bite off more than it could chew. With it made clear the plan was merely a concept and that things could change, he said the group was happy with it.
"We think this is a great goal," McMenomy told the commission.
"We just didn't want to represent that this would be built by spring 2009 or anything," he said.
The group's first goal is to get the sign up at the beginning of the trail and pavers into the ground. The other elements will follow as the group gets support.
So far the group has sold about 90 pavers. Jerry Gerrits said with Monday's approval they will sell quite a few more.
With the commission's approval the group can get busy promoting the memorial. At the December meeting a memorandum of understanding will be signed to further clarify things and then the group will hit the ground running.
McMenomy said after the December meeting the group will create a brochure and start contacting other veterans group. Throughout the winter, he said they hope to garner support for the project.
"We are encouraged they adopted the plan as presented and that the expectations are clear," said McMenomy.
The Veteran's Memorial Walk group consists of a board of five people. As the project gets going McMenomy said they hope to get more people involved.
The idea for the walk started with Ed McMenomy Sr., Jack Warweg and Bud Curly. Warweg died last year and will not see the project come to fruition.
For more information on the Veteran's Memorial Walk visit the group's web site at www.rsmt-memorial-walk.com.