WEST POINT, NE- After almost three years of development, the American Veterans Park in West Point was dedicated on Sunday.
The park features three granite spires that represent GOD, country, and veterans and their families. There are six bronze sculptures and tiles listing names of hundreds of veterans from Northeast Nebraska and across the country. Almost $1 million was contributed to creating the memorial on a formerly vacant lot donated by F&M Bank.
Veterans Park Committee Member, Vaughn Beed, said that funding came from 37 states and that contributions to add more statues are still being sought.
When committee members started this project, they had set the dedication day to be on Veterans Day 2018. Beed said the program on Sunday included the Star Spangled Banner, Prayer, Raising of the Flag, and a Flyover from the 185th Air Refueling Wing. Community, military, and government officials spoke at the special event, including Nebraska Lieutenant Governor Mike Foley.
Veterans Park Committee Member and Organizer Lisa Hunke said nearly 300 people came out on Sunday despite the blistering cold weather. “People have been really excited to have this dedication ceremony, they’ve been really looking forward to it so I don’t think there was much that would’ve stopped some of them from being here yesterday”, said Hunke.
Committee members went around and visited other parks to appreciate the parks and find ways to make the park unlike anything else. “We had a very specific message to deliver. Being able to include GOD in this is very different. This is a faith-filled community here. People really opened up their hearts and embraced the idea of including our faith in this park.”
Hunke says their hopes were for the park to be very meaningful for people that visited, a time to come and reflect, pray, remember and be grateful.