Crews began the first phase of construction on the Wilson County Veterans Park recently.
The park, which is located next the Wilson County Courthouse in Lebanon, will be a place to commemorate local veterans.
“It is a wonderful sight to see construction on a park that will honor our locals and also be used as a place to teach our youth about history,” County Mayor Randall Hutto said. “We are still looking for funding and donations for phases two and three. We are very optimistic and are grateful for the abundance of community support.”
Wilson County Veterans Service Officer Bernie Ash said he is “extremely excited” to see the project coming to fruition after almost two years of planning and fundraising, which is ongoing.
He said crews Wednesday built the construction entrance and the environmental walls.
“The first phase is just the park,” Ash said. “There will be a water feature in the middle shaped like a star and a wall will be around that that people can sit on.”
On the wall will be the Circle of Support bricks that the community can buy to commemorate loved ones.
“If people still want to get their names on the memorials, they need to come see us if they want to have it completed with the rest of the park,” said Ash.
The current monument to local veterans, which is situated in front of the County Courthouse, will be moved to a new location within the Veterans Park and “an eternal flame will be placed on it,” according to Ash.
The completion of all phases will include a memorial park, the new home of the Veterans Service Office and a museum of local memorabilia.
Donations, both monetary and material, are still being accepted. They lack $500,000 for the final stages of the project.
Bricks and sponsorship spots are still available for the park and the prices start at $100 for memorial bricks. Silver, Gold and Platinum sponsorships are available.
“Corporate sponsorships are a wonderful way to show appreciation and community support,” said organizers.
Wilson Bank and Trust, Kenwal Steel and Lochinvar have all become sponsors.
Donations are also accepted in any amount. Donors who contribute will be honored on a donor plaque located inside of the museum.
“Anybody who wants to donate to the museum, we’ll be happy to hear from them, said Ash.”
“Hopefully by Memorial Day the first phase will be complete and we will celebrate the holiday in a new location,” Ash said.
For questions about the park or making a donation, contact the Veterans Service office at 615-444-2460 or visit them at the Wilson County Courthouse located at 228 East Main Street in Lebanon.