A dedication ceremony for the five newly installed interpretation panels at Freedom Park is set for Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. in the park.
City officials will dedicate the five interpretive panels that explain the symbolism represented throughout the park and provide historical information about the city and its downtown.
On hand for the dedication will be Van Buren Mayor Bob Freeman, city planner and mayoral candidate Joe Hurst, Fred Williams, who was the graphic artist for the panels, and members of the Van Buren Lions Club.
Van Buren Lions Club donated $5,000 to the City of Van Buren to pay for the purchase of the panels and Williams-Crawford and Associates Inc. donated its time to design and lay out the panels.
Sheila Bell helped with the historical information provided on several of the panels.
Interpretive panels are an imaginative combination of text and visuals to tell a story about an object or place.
Topics of two panels in Freedom Park are blue and gold star service flags, represented in the design of the splash pad, and the four freedoms outlined in President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous speech.
Blue Star service flags are flown usually by a mother or parent with a child in military service, and Gold Star flags by those whose child has died in service.
The four freedoms come from Roosevelt’s State of the Union address on Jan. 6, 1941, during which he proposed four fundamental freedoms that people “everywhere in the world” ought to enjoy: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear.
Those four freedoms are represented throughout the park: Pavilions represent freedom from want, the stage represents freedom of speech, Veterans Memorial Plaza (still to be built) will represent freedom from fear, and the nearby church represents freedom of worship.
Three other panels outline some of the history of Van Buren’s Main Street, the Frisco depot and the former Camp Jesse Turner.