Edwards: Veterans memorial aims to educate | VailDaily.com

Edwards: Veterans memorial aims to educate

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado
Kristin Anderson/Vail DailyFreedom Park Memorial Committee chairman Pat Hammon, left, talks to a group of landscape architects about plans for Freedom Park Memorial in Edwards.

EDWARDS ” One day the names of the fallen U.S. military servicemen and women printed on stones at Freedom Park will be more than just a list of names ” they will be part of a landmark park and educational experience, organizers say.

Plans are underway to build an educational site and memorial to Eagle County residents who have died in war and local emergency workers who have died in the line of duty.

Fundraising efforts for the site are also underway, said Pat Hammon, chairwoman of the Freedom Park Veteran’s Memorial Committee. The committee is looking for donors and applying for grants.

For now the temporary memorial consists of a flag surrounded by stone obelisks engraved with names. Stone plaques donated in memory line the foot of the memorial, which sits next to a pond, between Colorado Mountain College and a dog park.

The memorial will be within walking distance of six schools and across the street from the future site of Battle Mountain High School, so the goal is to make the site highly educational also.

Plans include displays for information about the people memorialized at the site, and a Freedom Trail, that will serve as a walking timeline of the country’s conflicts.

The site will also include a plaza, walking trail, and displays for a piece of the Pentagon retrieved after the Sept. 11 attacks. Planners imagine a place where people can come and reflect or where families and groups can come for picnics and outings.

“We want it to be a living, active memorial that can be used on a regular basis,” Hammon said. “We hope people will come across the country to see this.”

Landscape architects from up and down the valley are teaming up with the veteran’s memorial committee to design the site.

One challenge for the design will be balancing the dynamic between a busy park and creating a place of solitude and remembrance, said architect Doug DeChant of Shepherd Resources in Avon.

“It’s a lot of raw, conceptual design right now,” DeChant said.

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.

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