Tri-Village News

Soldier will begin watch over Memorial Park in fall

Resident's donation funds likeness of infantryman at Memorial Park

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Memorial Park, home to Grandview's Memorial Day ceremonies, soon will have another symbol of the community's patriotism.

The city of Grandview Heights has ordered a military statue for the park, located at the intersection of Northwest Boulevard and West Second Avenue.

A public meeting regarding the statue will be held as part of the Parks Advisory Board meeting at 7 p.m. next Thursday, Feb. 13, in City Council chambers at the Municipal Building, 1016 Grandview Ave.

Landscape architect Franco Manno of EMH&T will lead a discussion about possible designs for the base of the statue and "how and where we can best put the statue in the park," Parks and Recreation Director Sean Robey said.

"We've had members of the city administration, members of City Council and the parks board visit the park and the majority consensus is to place the statue in the plaza area in the center of the park," Robey said.

The idea for the statue came from Grandview resident Thomas Williams, who has donated the money to fund its purchase.

"He's made the donation and we have ordered the statue from Big Statues," a Utah-based company, Robey said.

The company will submit a proof for council to approve before manufacturing the statue, he said.

"We won't be able to have the statue in time for Memorial Day" as originally planned, Robey said.

The city now plans to hold a ceremony to unveil the statue on Veterans Day in November, he said.

The slightly larger-than-life statue will depict an infantryman paying tribute to a fallen comrade as he prepares to head off into battle, Robey said.

The city will ask Big Statues to place the soldier's helmet on his head, rather than on the butt of a rifle as originally depicted, he said. The soldier will look downward, his gaze falling on those viewing the statue.

One of the questions to be discussed at the Feb. 13 parks board meeting will be whether to place the names of community members who have lost their lives in military service on the statue's base, Robey said.

"The mounting base is almost as important as the statue," he said.

Another issue is how close to the flagpole the statue should be placed, Robey said.

Williams' desire to have a quote from President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address on the statue also will be discussed, he said.

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