Fayetteville, NC (PRWEB) June 21, 2011
Gov. Perdue and U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs Asst. Secretary Riojas Welcome Visitors to North Carolina Veterans Park
July Fourth dedication ceremony marks opening of $15 million, seven-acre state park
Nearly a year and a half after first breaking ground, the City of Fayetteville will hold a ceremony to dedicate the North Carolina Veterans Park on Monday, July 4, 2011. The ceremony will be led by North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Assistant Secretary Joe D. Riojas. It will begin at 10:00 a.m. and is open to the public.
The North Carolina Veterans Park has been nearly 20 years in the making. It is the first state park dedicated to veterans, both living and deceased, from all five branches of the military. It is also one of the only parks of its kind that celebrates the lives and active service of all veterans instead of focusing on one particular era or conflict.
Representatives from each of the five military branches will participate in the dedication ceremony along with numerous veterans organizations. It will include remarks by Fayetteville Mayor Tony Chavonne and will be attended by members of the NC Congressional Delegation and the NC Legislative Delegation. The ceremony will be followed by a ribbon cutting and a performance by the 82nd Airborne Division’s All-American Chorus in the park’s amphitheater.
The North Carolina Veterans Park is developed around three major spaces, each representing a different phase of the park’s theme, “A Veteran’s Journey: life before, during, and after service.” The Community Plaza represents “life before service.” The highlight of this area is the Oath of Service Wall, featuring 100 bronze castings of veterans’ hands, one from each North Carolina county. The words of the oath of service each soldier takes upon enlisting will be inscribed on the wall. The other highlight of the Community Plaza is the Community Columns. Each of these 50 columns will display the names of two North Carolina counties. Every column will also include hand castings of four civilians from each county, representing the many individuals that support veterans as they enter service.
The Service Plaza represents “life during service.” The Patriot Wall, located here, symbolizes the action and excitement of military service through a moving water wall. The central portion of the Patriot Wall is the Reflection Wall, made of highly reflective stainless steel so that it reflects the images of visitors and other surrounding elements, making the visitor a part of the park itself. The pinnacle of the park is the Pride and Purpose Tower, a steel and granite tower rising from a pool of water. Special effects lighting and a light cannon will pierce the sky at night to mark special occasions or welcome home troops. The tower represents a service member's readiness to defend at all times.
The Reflection Garden represents “life after service.” It is a quiet area that gives visitors and veterans an opportunity for quiet reflection.
In support of these three spaces are two significant gathering places that invite the community to come together and acknowledge veterans. Camaraderie Plaza is an intimate amphitheater that will serve as a gathering space to welcome home and celebrate veterans. The Community Lawn is a large garden space that will encourage casual relaxation and accommodate formal ceremonies or planned events.
The North Carolina Veterans Park honors veterans in many ways, including incorporating items made by veterans themselves. Veterans created two of seven art pieces for the Artifacts Gallery Walls. These seven sculptures symbolize commitment, courage, dedication, heroism, sacrifice, service and honor, and will be constructed from decommissioned military materials.
The guiding vision behind the park’s design expresses the significance of the park to the entire state: “From the soils of North Carolina, you left your families and homes with purpose to serve your Country. The people of North Carolina honor your service and welcome you home.” The park incorporates many natural and architectural elements that represent North Carolina, including native soils from throughout the state and benches made from North Carolina hardwood trees.
Fayetteville, America’s First Military Sanctuary Community, is the perfect home for the North Carolina Veterans Park. The city’s beautifully revitalized downtown is an especially fitting location, given the spirit of renewal embodied in both the park and the downtown. The North Carolina Veterans Park is located on Bragg Boulevard next to the Airborne and Special Operations Museum.
To learn more about the North Carolina Veterans Park, visit http://www.ncveteranspark.org.
To view various renderings of the park and its elements, visit http://rubberneckmedia.com/clients/Fayetteville/VeteransParkRenderings.pdf.
About the FACVB:
The Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, not-for-profit organization responsible for positioning Fayetteville/Cumberland County as a destination for conventions, sporting events and individual travel. For additional information, visit http://www.visitfayettevillenc.com or call 1-800-255-8217. Fayetteville/Cumberland County is America's first military sanctuary. Through the Army's Army and other volunteer groups, our citizens and businesses are dedicated to “watching over those who watch over us ©.”
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