Monday, October 18, 2021

Veteran’s Memorial breaking ground soon

Gerald A Ladue designer of the Collier County Freedom Memorial. Submitted photos

Gerald A Ladue designer of the Collier County Freedom Memorial. Submitted photos

The Veteran’s Memorial Fundraising committee has been busy readying the plans for the Veteran’s Memorial which will go out to bid soon. “We had nine local paving contractors interested in participating in the bidding process,” said Parks and Recreation Director, Bryan Milk. “It was a great turn-out for a pre-bid meeting! Bidding will open soon and we expect a contract to be awarded on April 18th. Start date for the project could be as early as May 1st. It should take around 90 days to completion.”

According to Lee Rubenstein, Commander of local VFW Post #6370 and chairman of the Veteran’s Memorial Fundraising Committee, a ground breaking ceremony is being planned for late April. Signs have gone up in three locations around the island encouraging the general public to participate in the building of the memorial by making a donation or buying a paver. “Each week we are a bit closer to having the memorial become a reality. It’s an important tribute to those who served this country and in honor of the men and women who are in service now.

“We’ve made great progress on the memorial. The paver sales are underway and donations have been accepted for all eighteen benches and the United States flag, the State of Florida flag and the City of Marco Island flag. There will also be flags for each branch of service: Marines, Air Force, Army, Navy and Coast Guard. Donations for the Air Force and the Navy flagpoles have been received. Still available are the Marine, Army and Coast Guard flagpoles. If someone has interest in one of these branch flags they should contact us soon.” Lee can be reached at 239/564-9894 or phone Patty Mastronardi of Parks and Recreation at 239/389-5035.

Patriot Pavers come in three sizes, 4” X 8” have three lines and are $100 each, 8” X 8” have six lines and are $250 and 12” X 12” have eight lines and are $500. Each line is eighteen characters long. Check a local newspaper for an order form or pick one up at Mackle Park. Commemorative branch flagpoles are $5000 each. The memorial will be a 120’ paved circle with a five pointed star design in the center. Medallions of each of the five branches of service lie in between each point. The benches line the entryway and the 120’ circle.

Members of the committee will be at Veteran’s Community Park at the entrance to the memorial during the Seafood Festival. Everyone is encouraged to stop by, get more information and see the architects rendering of the complete plans.


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