Written by Melissa Argueta Friday, 12 November 2010 00:00
Memorial Day 2011 is the tentative date set to unveil the new Garden City Veterans Memorial. Early in 2010, under the leadership of Committee Chair and Village Board Trustee Dennis Donnelly and a committee of residents and trustees, a plan was designed to upgrade and relocate the village’s memorial.
Vietnam veteran and Garden City resident Cyril Smith originally proposed the idea last January as a way to pay homage to those veterans who lost their lives in wartime. The Committee on the War Memorial recently met and will be going forward with the rehabilitation and upgrade of the memorial, which will be located opposite the current WWII War Memorial on Seventh Street.
“We will be putting in five new plaques, one for WWI, one for Korea, one for Vietnam, one for Iraq and Afghanistan and one for the Garden City Medal of Honor winners,” Donnelly said. The plaques will each measure 2 feet by 1 foot 6 inches in size. In addition, the WWII plaque will also be moved to the new site. “Hopefully by Memorial Day next year we will be celebrating at the new location,” Donnelly said.
Mayor Robert Rothschild said when the subject was first raised last year, the board unanimously agreed that it was something that should be done to honor veterans. “Obviously when we try to do these things, it becomes a budgetary issue. With this, I think everyone would like to get it done to formalize our memorial area,” the mayor said.
The mayor invited Garden City residents to help participate in the project through charitable donations. “I probably received 40 to 50 letters, probably 60 emails from people who thought that this was a wonderful idea. We’ve had a number of things like this that kind of die on the vine. I think it would be a nice thing for the village to get together,” the mayor said.
It was also requested by the mayor that Trustee Lawrence Quinn, the liaison to the school board, speak with the school district about possibly enlisting students’ help with the new memorial. “I think it would be a great project for students in schools, to make it a community event to do something for a worthwhile cause and I think everybody can jump on the bandwagon. We’ve had enough issues in this village that I think have divided us. I don’t think there’s any way that this issue could divide us,” the mayor said.
The mayor offered to be the first one to write a personal check for the fund. Checks may be made payable to: “Inc. Village of Garden City” with ‘War Memorial Fund’ on the check memo line.