Dream Becomes a Reality
Memorial Park of Kentucky
takes shape in Crestwood
to become an outdoor educational
center in the heart of Oldham County
Helen E. McKinney
CRESTWOOD, Ky. (June 2011) In a matter of
time, Crestwood will get a truly unique memorial park that will both
honor and educate those who visit. Even just a few minutes spent in
this park will give individuals a glimpse into the sacrifices many armed
service men have made to secure the freedoms enjoyed in the United States.
The design of the Veterans Memorial Park of Kentucky will be a
visual sacrifice of what Americans have made, said Don Helton.
Helton is chair of the Board of Directors for Veterans Memorial Park
of Kentucky Inc., an organization dedicated to creating a gathering
place for individuals to remember the sacrifices veterans have made
by Don Ward
Helton poses beside a display
of the Veterans Memorial Park
during the Oldham County
Chambers Business Showcase.
The 33,000-square-foot park will be located in Crestwood,
adjacent to the Veterans Memorial Parkway along KY Hwy. 329. The park
will be next to the main entrance of South Oldham Middle and South Oldham
High Schools. The park is the result of the Oldham County Board of Educations
action to establish the park in this location.
Organizers hope to soon set in motion fundraising actions to help speed
the project along. The projected dedication date is May 2012. The organization
will unveil bronze markers each year around Memorial Day.
A second goal for this year is to promote a brick program. For $50,
individuals can purchase a brick in remembrance of a veteran.
The park will recognize Oldham Countians who paid the ultimate
sacrifice, Helton said. The bricks will bear the names of service
men from World War II and upward. Helton said organizers are looking
to expand the information they have about each of the 40 soldiers who
were from Oldham County, to include the date of birth, years they served
The initial plans for the park have been expanded, almost
tripling in size, Helton said. Initially, we were only going to
use one-third of it.
The design calls for sections of sidewalk that represent one year in
a walk through 300 Years of Military History. The concept
begins with the Revolutionary War and continues through the year 2076,
reserving space for future additions. Colored sections of the sidewalk
indicate that there was a military conflict during that year.
The paved pathway sort of meanders through time, said Jim
Zimmerman, treasurer for the organization. The entire park is comparable
to an outdoor education center, he said.
Included in the design are granite benches, a gazebo, speakers
platform and flag poles representing various branches of the armed services.
Bronze markers with information about American military actions will
be placed in chronological order along the walking path. The focus is
on those who died, Helton said.
Were gathering all of the information for the groundwork,
said Zimmerman. The size of the plot has basically stayed the
same, but the concept has grown.
Fran Scott of Scott Klausing & Co. Architects designed the original
plans for the park. He said the design has been refined, based on the
two main design elements required from organizers.
There are two parts to their mission, said Scott. Memorializing
and honoring the casualties from Kentucky, and education. The theme
involves a timeline; by being on a school campus, this will enable students
to put things into perspective.
Zimmerman said he has visited many similar sites and this one will be
one of a kind. Not only is the site aesthetically appealing
but it is easily accessible by the public. I anticipate it to
be a tourist draw as well.
Veterans Memorial Park of Kentucky is just getting started on fundraising
for this project. The total estimated cost is more than $200,000, said
For more information, contact Don Helton
at (502) 243-9998 or visit: www.VeteransMemorialParkKY.com.
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