HARRISON – The grand opening ceremony at Veterans Freedom Park was held May 25, 2016. Now, after six years of dedicated fundraising efforts, community cooperation, generosity and commitment – and despite the hobbling effects of two years-plus of pandemic – the Veterans Freedom Park Statue Project is coming to full fruition. The final statue, which commemorates those who served in Iraq and Afghanistsn, will be dedicated as part of the 11 a.m. Monday, May 30 Memorial Day ceremony at the park.
The park has grown into a verdant, living place which was designed to be a place where veterans, their families and friends can come to “Remember, Honor, and Reflect” on those who have served this country. Its Wall of Tears also memorializes those from Clare, Gladwin, Isabella and Midland counties who have given their lives in the line of duty.
Veterans Freedom Park is laid out as a pentagon, with areas marking five conflicts/wars, including a statue for each one: World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, Desert Shield/Desert Storm and, as of May 30, Afghanistan/Iraq. Also dedicated early on was a Fallen Soldier Battle Cross (also called a Battlefield Cross or Battle Cross).
The latest statue will be joining those pictured with this article.
The ceremony May 30 ceremony will include unveiling of the final statue, which will be joining those pictured with this article.
Statue Project Coordinator Maye Tessner-Rood said in a thank you letter sent to those who have donated to the project in any way over the past six years, “It goes to show you that with the support of our communities ‘We Can Do It!’”
A picnic is planned for afterward, and as Tessner-Rood also urged in the letter, people should mark their calendars and plan to attend so they can see firsthand the difference they have made in the lives of area veterans and serving military.
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