City leaders were joined by local veterans and members of Berkner High School’s Army JROTC Program last month to celebrate the opening of the newly renovated Memorial Park.
Memorial Park opened in 1976 along Centennial Boulevard at Grove Road as a bicentennial year project. During the renovation, the park received new landscaping, flag poles and stonework, as well as new plaques to recognize Richardson residents who have died while serving their country.
“For 45 years, Memorial Park has stood as a place of honor and reflection as the Richardson community pays homage to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country,“ said Lori Smeby, Parks and Recreation Director. “The new memorial plaques, as well as the lighted granite stone, really set the focal point of the park.”
The park features plaques with the names of the 22 Richardson residents who died while fighting for their country during wartime, as well as five additional residents who died while in service to their country.
The centerpiece of the park is a large, black granite stone that features the seals of the United States Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard, as well as the following inscription: In memoriam to their ultimate sacrifice. They did not die in vain. To the honor and glory of all those who unselfishly gave of themselves in the service of their country for the cause of freedom.
“It is nice to know that those who didn’t come back are remembered,” said Ken Freeman, a Navy and Vietnam War veteran and commander of Richardson VFW Post 8627. “I remember the guys who didn’t come back that I knew. That is the big thing because that makes it personal. It is very emotional.”
For more information on Memorial Park, visit www.cor.net/memorialpark.