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New Veterans’ Monument on Track for Memorial Day

Memorial Day is almost here and it is shaping up to be a special time in Garden City. After more than a year of discussions and planning, the village will unveil its upgraded veterans’ memorial to honor the brave men and women who have served our country in wartime. In February, the village board unanimously approved expenditures not to exceed $20,000 for the complete installation of a new and improved monument located at the Village Gazebo on Seventh Street.

At the May 5 village board meeting, Trustee Dennis Donnelly, the chairperson of the Village Board’s War Memorial Committee, announced that construction was currently in progress and almost complete. “The lighting was put in today and the cement pavers have been put in; the first of the marble and the new plaques arrive next week,” Donnelly said.

Donnelly explained that the current WWII plaque will be refurbished, taken down next week and put back up. “Then we have some plantings to do and we should be all set for Memorial Day,” Donnelly said.

Garden City resident and Vietnam veteran Cyril Smith originally proposed the plan for an upgrade, rehabilitation and relocation of the current veterans’ memorial in January of 2010 as a way to pay homage to those veterans who lost their lives in wartime. The new site will be placed approximately 300 feet west of the current WWII War Memorial at the Seventh Street Gazebo.

The new monument will consist of 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. 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.

In November of 2010, former mayor Robert J. Rothschild asked the community to help participate in the war memorial project through charitable donations.  During a February board meeting this year, Rothschild praised the residents who have already contributed to the project and indicated that additional donations are still welcome.

“I want to thank the members of that committee who worked very diligently,” Rothschild said, adding, “We also have still raised some funds, I don’t have the final number yet, from our very generous residents who have taken the opportunity to donate funds for the completion of this memorial and we still are accepting checks. But I want to thank all the trustees for working hard and getting that done.”

Those residents wishing to donate can make checks payable to the “Inc. Village of Garden City,” with “War Memorial Fund” in the memo line.