In 2014, two Edmonds men decided it was time to ensure that local war veterans had a place to remember the men and women who served in the U.S. armed forces. After three years of planning, fundraising, design and construction, that effort will come to fruition on Memorial Day, May 29, when the new Edmonds Veterans Plaza is dedicated outside the city’s Public Safety Complex.
According to Ron Clyborne, who is the chairman of the Edmonds Veterans Plaza steering committee, it was fellow veteran Jim Traner who originally noticed that Edmonds was the largest city in the county without a dedicated place to honor men and women who served.
“Jim was the commander of the Edmonds post of the VFW at the time,” Clyborne said, “and we immediately committed ourselves to making it happen.” Both men are Vietnam veterans, with Traner serving in the Army and Clyborne in the Marine Corps.
The project received enthusiastic support from the VFW and the Edmonds American Legion. Clyborne and Traner then recruited a blue-ribbon committee of local citizens, comprising veterans and non-veterans alike.
Ultimately, nearly $700,000 in private funds was raised to complete the plaza, and on Monday, Memorial Day, May 29, the dream becomes reality.
The dedication ceremony begins at 2 p.m. at 5th Avenue North and Bell Street, adjacent to the Edmonds Public Safety building. The public is encouraged to attend. According to a project announcement, the start time was specifically selected so it didn’t conflict with the annual Memorial Day ceremony being held at 11 a.m. at the Edmonds Memorial Cemetery.
Organizers note that while the principal elements of the Veterans Plaza are complete, some enhancements remain and financial contributions are still being solicited. There are a limited number of individual paving blocks are still available at $500 each. Information will be available at the dedication.
You can also learn more at the project website.