Although some of the design elements have changed, a Nov. 11 dedication is still planned for Delaware’s Veterans Memorial Plaza between the National Guard and the YMCA.
Representatives from Delaware-based builder 2K General and designer OHM Advisors showed the latest plans at the City Council meeting on Monday.
The plaza is meant to honor, reflect and celebrate veterans in all five military branches, said lead designer Josh Helms. Other goals are to incorporate the restored cannon that was at the point, have the flexibility to remove and personalize bricks over time and to honor plaza donors. It is also wheelchair accessible.
The plaza’s design has six main features: a circle of remembrance; walk of solitude; ribbons of honor; stars of reflection; walls of gratitude; and a people plaza.
The circle of remembrance is a central, elevated focal point of the plaza with an eternal flame sculptural element. The walk of solitude is a pathway connecting the two sides of the plaza following the form of the circle of remembrance, a quiet area for reflection.
The 12 ribbons of honor resemble stripes on the U.S. flag and feature removable pavers that can be engraved to honor service men and women. The stars of reflection are at the end of each ribbon and are illuminated at night. They commemorate the 12 wars the United States has fought in — Revolutionary; 1812; Mexican; Civil; Spanish-American; World War I; World War II; Korean; Vietnam; Persian Gulf; Afghanistan; Iraq. It was said that there is additional space to include future wars.
The walls of gratitude would allow personal letters and photographs from families and friends of service men and women to be shared with the public. The materials on display would be changed regularly.
“I think this is an excellent design,” said council member Andrew Brush.
“It’s beautiful,” said Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle.
The plaza still has a targeted opening date of Veterans Day, said council member Joe DiGenova.
Council members also hoped that local volunteers will help with keeping the grounds attractive.
The local partners for the plaza are Buckeye Ready-Mix; Landscape Forms; Loeb Electric; National Lime & Stone Co.; Oakland Nurseries; Oberfields LLC; Simco Electric; and Wanner Metalworx.
Also at the meeting, council unanimously approved naming the street along the nearby Veterans Park and Community Center YMCA to Veterans Drive. The name was chosen after consulting with local veterans groups. The Veterans Park will feature a splash pad for children.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.