Stark County Veterans Memorial project could be finished by fall
If all goes according to plan, Dickinson will be home to one of the largest memorials to U.S. service members in North Dakota by later this year.
Speaking at a Dickinson Park Board roundtable meeting Friday at the West River Community Center, representatives of the Stark County Veterans Memorial Association said the project is on track and could be completed sometime this fall.
"This was just a dream 25 years ago, but it's going to be a reality very soon," said association member Dave Logosz. "The community has given us really good support. This is a project that Stark County, as well as Dickinson, can be proud of."
The privately funded project is slated to be constructed at Memorial Park in Dickinson, just west of the old outdoor pool. Logosz said the association is more than halfway to its goal of raising $700,000 for the memorial.
Plans for the site include a centerpiece of a saluting solider statue -- which currently sits inside Dickinson City Hall -- with erected granite slabs that bear the names of thousands of Stark Country veterans. The circular site will measure more than 60 feet around and will feature American, North Dakota and POW flag poles in addition to several granite or concrete benches, said association member Gene Robinson.
Logosz said work began on what he described of what will become the "largest veteran's memorial in the state" in early 2011.
"When we contacted all the other veterans groups, they all said they were planning on doing something like this someday," Logosz said. "But someday never happens unless someone grabs the bull by the horns. The front panel has been completed and we have all the names up to World War II. We have over 6,000 names right now."
The memorial will be lit up at night and could eventually include a children's play area and picnic shelter in the immediate vicinity, said Logosz.
Dickinson Parks and Recreation Director James Kramer said long-term plans for the area also include a restroom facility, along with further improvements to the Phil Patterson Memorial Bandshell at the park.