RIDGELAND — A veterans memorial park at the proposed city center here at U.S. 51 and School Street was approved unanimously by city officials at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Madison County Veterans Service Officer Dr. Tom Logue presented park designs to the board and explained the meaning of the park’s roughly seven-foot tall bell tower.

“Most cities have a statue or monument that your drive by and that’s fine but we wanted something you come to and be a part of,” Logue, who has been working on this park for years, said. “The bell will work and we want people to be able to go and ring that bell and say a fallen veteran’s name for that moment that veteran will live again.”

Another distinction he said would be the name of the park, Veterans Memory Park in Ridgeland.

“This is not Ridgeland’s Memory Park,” he said. “It is ‘in’ Ridgeland and we think the distinction makes it a more inclusive location for veterans, their families and their memories.”

The park will include benches and plaques commemorating the six branches of the military, which Logue said would cost about $1,000 each. The park also features a central walkway, “the Walk of Heroes,” and flagpole.

Logue said he and a board in charge of the park would privately raise money for the $122,000 project, though the city would be responsible for upkeep. Board members include Ridgeland Community Development Director Alan Hart and Public Works Director Mike McCollum.

Donations include $200 for an engraved brick and go all the way up to $50,000 for space on the engraved bell on the bell tower. Logue said he would seek corporate or business sponsorship for the bell.

“I think this is a great idea and I think it is important to honor our veterans,” Mayor Gene F. McGee said of the project.

Ward 6 Alderman Wesley Hamlin added that the design “looks great” and would be a welcome addition to the city center campus.