So Monday is a special day for all of us to reflect on the vital contributions made by Cleveland and Bradley County's men and women in our day and in past years.
To the wounded warriors among us who are recovering from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan; to those who served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and other dangerous places in the world, and to all who joined our armed forces and stood ready if called, we say thank you for your service.
Our thanks goes to veterans' families too; those who pray each day for the return of a loved one and cope with their absence.
Thousands of veterans live in our area and we seek new ways to recognize them. One current effort is to create a veterans memorial park. The park will be in the Spring Creek area, 25th Street/APD 40, a portion of which was renamed Veterans Memorial Parkway.
Our gratitude to Stan and Brenda Lawson, owners of Spring Creek Development, who are making the land available. The park runs alongside the beautiful Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway, so it will one day be a calm and relaxing place to stop, rest and reflect. In the future, a new Hardee’s restaurant will also be next door and will be helping us make it more convenient and accessible from the central retail area.
Numerous other individuals and organizations are taking part in making it a reality.
Woodmen of the World have donated a 35-foot flag pole for the park. It will be topped by a solar-powered light that complies with the code for the proper display of the American flag.
Architect Doug Cawood is working on park plans.
Lee University students recently raised $10,000 for the park during a fundraising military appreciation event.
Citizens are showing their support by purchasing stone markers in memory of a veteran. The stones are placed at the base of trees along the roadway at Spring Creek. Persons interested in placing markers may pick up forms at City Hall and fill out information for the memorial or tribute markers.
For many years our city has gathered on Veterans Day, rain or shine, cold or warm, for a special tribute.
The ceremony starts Monday at 11 a.m. The Bradley County Veterans Services Office says the street on the east side of the Courthouse Plaza will be closed for the ceremony. Visitors are advised to bring chairs. The colors will be raised by Bradley Central High School's ROTC and music will be provided by the Cleveland High School band.
We hope to see you there to commemorate as “The City With Spirit” honors our veterans.