New veterans park to be unveiled Memorial Day
RIDGELAND — The new Veterans Memory Park at City Hall will be unveiled Monday during a Memorial Day program.
Linda Bynum, executive director of the Ridgeland Chamber of Commerce, said along with the unveiling of the park, a check in the amount of all the funds raised to pay for the park will be presented to Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee during the program that begins at 11 a.m.
“We will also have a Keynote Speaker, Maj. Gen. Janson D. Boyles,” Bynum said. “He is the top military person for the state of Mississippi.”
Bynum said Red River Pipes and Drums of Shreveport, Louisiana, will provide music, and the dedication will begin with the Pledge of Allegiance and Presentation of Colors.
“When you visit the park, you can ring the bell next to City Hall, and there’s a Walk of Heroes,” Bynum said. “There’s also benches, bricks and plaques honoring veterans from World War I, World War II, the Civil War, Vietnam War, Korean War and more. For the bell, you can ring it, and doing that is a way of remembering veterans. The veteran’s name will then live on forever.”
Bynum said encouraged residents to attend the ceremony and to visit the park.
“People should come to visit, read the names on the plaques and bricks on the Walk of Heroes, and read all the passages on the benches,” Bynum said. “It’s a very good experience.”
Mike McCollum, director of public works for the City of Ridgeland, said Ridgeland wants to make sure veterans are honored properly, and the park will serve that purpose.
“This park is a vision of the late Gen. Tom Logue, who was a resident of Ridgeland until he passed away a couple of years ago,” McCollum said. “I helped form the Veteran’s Memory Park Committee, which I’m now a chair of, and the board raised $75,000, which is around half the cost of the park.”
McCollum said the full construction cost is estimated at $144,000, and even though the committee plans to present the $75,000 check to McGee at the ceremony, the committee will continue to raise money.
“We still wanted to have a dedication for Memorial Day,” McCollum said. “The park is completely built, but we plan to keep raising money to reach that $144,000 goal.”
Mendal Kemp, veterans service officer for Madison County, said the dedication of the park is going to be an important event and it will represent all the veterans here and their families.
“This park dedication will show how important it is to remember our veterans and give them the proper recognition they deserve,” he said.