An effort spearheaded by Grandview Heights resident Dr. Thomas Williams and his late wife, Lowell, to enhance the city's Memorial Park will culminate on Veterans Day with the dedication of a plaza and pillar monuments.
The new components complement the statue of a World War II soldier that was installed in 2015 in the park.
The couple donated money to help fund the purchase and installation of the statue, and Williams has donated another $300,000 that joined funding from the city and village of Marble Cliff to pay for the new park components.
A groundbreaking for the project was May 24 during the community's annual Blue Star Mothers memorial service.
A dedication ceremony will be 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 11, at the park, located at the corner of Northwest Boulevard and Oxley Road.
The event is expected to include a ribbon-cutting ceremony, music by the Grandview Heights High School marching band and a rifle volley, Parks and Recreation Director Mike Patterson said.
Williams and members of his family will attend.
The additions include five 10-foot columns, each representing a branch of the military. The front of each column is adorned with the emblem and motto of the respective military branch; on the back of each column is a word "that represents the meaning of military service," Patterson said.
Those words are freedom, honor, country, sacrifice and duty.
Between the columns, a plaza includes brick pavers and blocks of limestone along with a silhouette of a weeping soldier. Seating walls also have been installed.
"The idea is that people can take a moment to sit and observe the statue and the pillars and reflect on the sacrifice our military personnel have made," Patterson said.
"I've already seen people who have stopped and sat on the walls and taken the park in," he said. "It's hard for me to think that when you're seated and viewing the statue and columns, that it doesn't make an impact."
"It's turned out just as we planned it," Williams said. "I'm really happy with the enhancements to the park.
"I wanted to make sure that people didn't just drive by the park," he said. "I wanted to create something that would make them stop and come into the park and learn about the five branches of our military and the sacrifice made by our servicemen and -women.
"We just simply can't do enough as far as I'm concerned to honor those who gave their lives for those of us who are able to enjoy freedom and prosperity," he said.
"A lot of us went into service, but some of us didn't come back," said Williams, who served during World War II in Europe as part of the army's 106th Cavalry Regiment.
"We shouldn't just have Memorial Day," he said, "we should have Memorial Year. We should remember and honor our fallen heroes every day. Hopefully, this park will spur that reflection in people every time they see it."