Now that basic funding for the Edmonds Veterans Plaza has been assured, the focus of public participation has switched to personal pavers and other naming opportunities, said the committee spearheading the project.
“We want to make sure that every Edmonds resident that wants to honor a veteran has that opportunity,” said Ron Clyborne, co-chair of the Plaza committee.
The Edmonds Veterans Plaza is a community-wide effort designed to honor all U.S. veterans—past, present and future. The project is spearheaded by the local chapters of the VFW and American Legion, while incorporating volunteer committee members from all sectors of the Edmonds community, both public and private.
Pavers are 12-inch-square tiles that will comprise the walkway in the memorial garden area of the plaza. Many—if not all—will be engraved with the name and military information of individuals who have served, whether living or deceased. People donating $500 or more to the Veterans Plaza are entitled to have a paver engraved honoring a veteran of their choice. Clyborne noted that in addition, there are a limited number of grants available for those to whom the $500 requirement would present a financial hardship. “We do not want any deserving veteran to be left out,” he said.
The City of Edmonds has made a site available for the plaza directly adjoining the City Council chambers at 5th Avenue North and Bell Street. The city parks department has agreed to oversee ongoing care of the facility. The triangular area is now paved with concrete and planted with trees and ornamentals, but the new Veterans Plaza layout will change the character of the plot dramatically.
The focal point of the design will be a long stone wall, approximately 4 feet high, divided into 10- to 12-foot sections. Between the sections there will be gently flowing waterfalls. The walls are not engraved with names. Rather the design is much simpler and cleaner, with symbols of the five military services on one and the plaza theme and appropriate quotes on others.
A separate wall will remember those who sacrificed their lives in service to our country. Another will thank major donors that made the Edmonds Veterans Plaza possible.
Benches and stone seating cubes will be distributed throughout the site. A small memorial garden will provide contemplative seating and other silent tributes, all designed to contribute to a spirit of remembrance and healing for families and troubled veterans.
The second fund raising goal of $572,000 was met in mid-January. Financial contributions are still being accepted, however, with a digital informational kiosk, drinking fountain and other enhancements now being targeted. Donations can be made at edmondsveteransplaza.com.
Construction of the Edmonds Veterans Plaza is set to begin in early February, with the public opening, ribbon cutting and dedication planned for Memorial Day, May 29.