Veteran's Memorial Park will officially have a new home as of Saturday.
The Veteran's Memorial Commission will be holding the Veteran's Memorial Park dedication beginning at 9:45 a.m. Saturday. The ceremony will begin at the current Veteran's Park, located on East Third and East Second streets, and proceed to the new location on West Third Street.
There will be a ceremony by the VFW at the current location, at which time the American flag will be lowered, folded and presented to veterans representing the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 53, AMVETS Post 726 and the Veterans of Modern Warfare.
Pictured is the site of what will be the new Veteran’s Memorial Park on West Third Street in Jamestown.
P-J photo by Liz Skoczylas
The procession will include 1/390th 98th Division Color Guard, American flag escort, veterans, Sen. Catharine Young, Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards, Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi, representatives from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, Daughters of the American Revolution; Blue Star Mothers, and Patriot Guard Riders of New York.
"People in the community have begun to question, 'Why haven't you raised the flag yet?' Well, you don't just raise the flag and say, 'This is now Veteran's Memorial Park,' it has to be done by ceremony. You don't lower the flag forever on one pole without a ceremony. And, you move it ceremoniously," said Ronald Cotton, Veteran's Memorial Commission chairman.
The ceremony at the park's new location will include music by the Jamestown Municipal Band beginning at 10 a.m., presentation of the American flag to Vietnam Veterans, the national anthem, Pledge of Allegiance, invocation, remarks, benediction, firing squad, and "Taps."
"We were offered the park from the city, and we could see that it was a much better venue, that it was going to be a more reverent setting," Cotton said. "We're trying to honor those who have served in a time of war and peace, and to recognize that there are none of these people who would have gone without their country calling. When you go serve, you are being called by your country to protect them, to protect the liberties that we have, and, if necessary, you are to kill or die yourself. In any case, win the battles that your country sends you to do. With this memorial, we are trying to establish a memorial that honors the service of all veterans of yesterday, today and tomorrow, and to give the community a place to go to reflect on their service."
Although the new Veteran's Memorial Park has been in discussion for several years, in the last year and a half, the Veteran's Memorial Commission has kicked it into overdrive to raise money for the new location. The park includes benches, shrubs and planting beds, a promenade, Civil War cannon and various monuments representing veterans groups. The American flag is at the focus of the park.
"We still need, this is just a pure guess, but about $150,000. This includes paving, the monuments, the mounting of the Civil War cannon and benches. So, this is where we are headed for this. With regard to the flag, the Vietnam Veterans raised the money for the pole," Cotton said.
Additionally, everything in the park is American-made.
"The pole is made in the USA. The flag we are raising is made in the USA. Nothing that is used in this park will be made anywhere else than in the USA," Cotton said.
Cotton advises that anyone interested in attending the ceremony bring their own seating. Additionally, the AMVETS food trailer will be at the new location. All proceeds will go toward the park. There will also be a musical patriotic tribute by Top Hat Entertainment following the dedication.
Tax deductible donations may be made to the Veteran's Memorial Commission Relocation Fund at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, through its website at www.crcfonline.org, or by calling 661-3390.