Delaware News

Cannon could be centerpiece of new park

City of Delaware, supporters hope to move WWI artillery to land near YMCA

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CHRIS PARKER/THISWEEKNEWS
(From left) Robert Burr, Jim Titus, Ric Ray, Steve Cuckler and Cody Clay stand with the WWI German cannon near the intersection of E. Central Ave. and E. William St. The men are leading an effort to create a new veterans memorial park in Delaware which will include the cannon.
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By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Delaware city officials are asking for the community's support in creating a new memorial to honor veterans.

At a meeting Tuesday, May 14, Delaware City Council discussed plans to raise funds for a new Veterans Park adjacent to the YMCA on Houk Road.

The proposed park will feature the antique German field artillery cannon that has stood at the Point -- the intersection of East William Street and East Central Avenue -- for decades.

The cannon, captured from the Germans by American troops during World War I, would be moved to the new park.

Steve Cuckler, a former city councilman, is spearheading the effort to create the park.

"The issue was how to make the WWI cannon memorial part of something bigger," Cuckler said. "How can we use this to actually embrace and memorialize and recognize the accomplishments of all our veterans?"

The park will include an American flag, the Ohio flag and the Ohio National Guard flag, a small WWI memorial marker that formerly stood at the Point but was later put into storage, and a wall with plaques in honor of all five branches of the U.S. military.

The memorial park will recognize U.S. participation in WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Gulf War.

Bricks that originally were part of the plaza at the Point also will be relocated for the memorial, which could be finished by August 2014 if all goes according to plan.

But to make the memorial a reality, officials said they need help from the community.

An organizational meeting for residents interested in supporting the effort is scheduled for 7 p.m. June 19 at the YMCA, 1121 S. Houk Road.

All residents, including veterans and their families, are encouraged to participate in the meeting, which will include a tour of the area where the memorial would be constructed.

"If someone wants to help, there's a place for them here, whether they want to help out with fundraising, getting the word out or donating time," Cuckler said.

Veterans Park also would include seating for up to 300 people for special events.

"It will become something not just to be used on Sept. 11 or Memorial Day," said City Manager Tom Homan. "It will become a part of the community that could be used for a multitude of things.

"I think this is going to be a salute to veterans," Homan added.

Officials have been looking for a new home for the cannon for about six months, because its current location is inaccessible to pedestrians.

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