MORRISVILLE — When the town was developing plans for a Civil War memorial park about a decade ago, Mike Snyder, a former U.S. Marine who served on the Morrisville Town Council at the time, figured the town also needed a veterans’ memorial.
The idea was well received but never gained much traction – until now.
Snyder is leading a newly formed Morrisville Parks and Recreation subcommittee to make the veterans’ memorial a reality.
The group met for the first time last month and discussed possible sites, including the Town Center area off Jeremiah Street and Town Hall Drive.
“We’re looking for visibility,” Snyder said. “We want folks to be able to see it. I envision something that would recognize each of the five branches of the military.”
It’s unclear how much the project would cost or where it would be located. The group will meet again in January.
“I’m a retired Marine. I have a near and dear, vested interest in a memorial,” Snyder said. “As Morrisville’s grown to a town of more than 20,000 over the past seven years, we have many people from the Northeast, where every town has a veterans’ memorial.”
Morrisville has a rich war history. It was home to one of the last skirmishes of the Civil War.
Snyder was inspired to re-start the effort for a veterans’ memorial after Garner opened a $500,000 monument in May.
Garner’s Veterans Memorial in Lake Benson Park has slabs commemorating North Carolina’s contributions to various U.S. conflicts, one for each decade.
On one side of a walkway, tall slabs describe the conflicts, while smaller slabs on the other side list the names of Garner residents who died in each one.
Most of the money needed to build the Garner memorial was raised through donations from individuals, businesses, civic clubs and veterans’ groups, and through the sale of memorial bricks and benches.
Once the Morrisville memorial design is selected, Snyder said, he would like to see a similar brick fundraising campaign.
The eight-member subcommittee is expected to meet for six to eight months and then bring a recommendation to the full Parks and Recreation advisory committee for consideration, said Jerry Allen, the town’s Parks and Recreation director.
In the past year, other towns have built or announced plans to revamp their existing monuments.
Apex used a steel cube recovered from the World Trade Center as the centerpiece for its memorial for victims of 9/11, active military, first responders and veterans. The memorial opened in July on Salem Street downtown.
This summer, Cary announced plans to expand the 13-acre Veterans Freedom Park by adding a 90-foot spire. It is expected to be complete in May 2014.
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