Despite temperatures in the upper 30s on Veterans Day, hundreds of residents came out for the groundbreaking at Veterans Park in Huntersville.
Mayor John Aneralla said the park had been in the planning and fundraising stages for two years, but in the next 30 days construction will begin, and the park should be completed within a year.
The park will include a multipurpose building, a festival stage with a lawn area and the Veterans Memorial. The memorial will feature six monuments honoring each branch of the military with a granite globe rotating on water representing the global impact of America’s veterans.
Kam Chandan, president of the Rotary Club of Lake Norman-Huntersville, told the crowd at the Nov. 11 event that the project was made possible by the partnership of area rotary clubs, American Legion Post 321, Sons of The American Legion Post 321, town leaders and those who bought personalized bricks to be used in the memorial.
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More than $57,000 of the projected $60,000 cost for the park has been raised.
“Our veterans deserve the dignified tribute for their unselfish service to our country,” Chandan said.
To help raise funds the Rotary Club and Sons of the American Legion Post 321 are selling personalized bricks to be used in the memorial. The cost is $90 for one or $75 each for two or more. The bricks will be inscribed with thre lines, 18 characters per line, and messages must be military in nature.
Any veteran can be honored, not just Huntersville residents.
The town planned for the groundbreaking to coincide with their first annual Veterans Day parade.
“We’re very excited today to be breaking ground on our Veterans Park,” Aneralla said. “In addition we’re going to be celebrating our Veterans parade. It’s a long overdue tribute to the veterans that protected our rights and freedoms over the last 240 years.”
Following the parade a Veterans Day Ceremony was held at town square. Veterans of past wars relived their glory days with young ROTC recruits as the crowd listened to the local Tim Cook Band belting out tunes, while the children played tug of war on the lawn.
During the presentation of the wreath, and playing of taps, the veterans saluted with pride. With tears welling in their eyes, some showed sorrow for those who had died as a result of war.
Citing the recent election Aneralla said, “It is because of our veterans that we’ve been able to chose our leaders and without them we wouldn't have that ability. So we’re very thankful for all our veterans who have served. No matter how they served or when they served.”
Veterans Park is at the American Legion Post 321, 107 N. Main Street, Huntersville, between Main Street and Maxwell Avenue. To purchase a brick to honor a veteran go to: http://www.lakenormanrotary.org/veterans-memorial.php