Veterans Memorial Plaza in downtown Van Buren will be opened to the public at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 25.
State and local elected officials, city commissioners and other local officials will gather at 833 Main St. for a ceremonial ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly constructed park.
Veterans Memorial Plaza is located across Main Street from Freedom Park.
“The downtown park consists of two distinct sites, each offering a unique and memorable experience,” said Van Buren Mayor Bob Freeman.
Freedom Park, located on the north side of Main Street, opened in July 2017. Veterans Memorial Plaza is on the south side of Main Street.
Freeman said Veterans Memorial Plaza is designed as a destination to respectfully reflect upon and honor the sacrifices made by the veterans of all armed forces.
He said Freedom Park is an exciting, central gathering spot for the community and visitors alike.
Freedom Park consists of two pavilions being utilized by the local Farmers Market, and for other groups and activities, an open green-space area with a stage, an interactive fountain feature, and benches and picnic tables.
Freeman said both sites embody the spirit of the “Four Freedoms” that were highlighted 75 years ago in a famous speech by President Franklin Roosevelt as our nation prepared for entry into World War II. Those freedoms are freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear.
Veterans Memorial Plaza will include a Battle Cross monument donated to the city by Chase Haynes, an Eagle Scout with Troop 45 in Van Buren. Haynes’s statue, cast of pure American bronze, of a helmet, identification tags, inverted rifle and combat boots is meant to represent a fallen soldier.
Freedom Park includes a four-sided street clock donated by the GFWC Women’s League of Van Buren. The four-dial LED lighted street clock is 15.6-feet tall and includes cast aluminum post, saddle and head as well as aluminum bezels.
The Van Buren Lions Club funded the installation of five interpretation panels at Freedom Park.
The parks were funded, in part, by the special election investment initiative from July 10, 2012.