CRESTWOOD, Ky. (WHAS11) – Surrounded by American flags, veterans, city leaders and students, shovels dug into the ground in Crestwood, Kentucky Thursday.
The Veterans Memorial Park of Kentucky is being built off Veterans Memorial Parkway, between South Oldham High School and Middle School.
The park will have two purposes, to honor those who have fought and died for our country and to educate young people about those sacrifices.
“It’s part of being an American. You need to know your history. You need to know what's going on,” Lucas Platt, a 17-year-old South Oldham High School student and member of the Civil Air Patrol said.
Don Helton, Board Chair of the Veterans Memorial Park of Kentucky, says this educational, interactive park will provide something that often gets forgotten in the classroom. “A lot of times nowadays, military history is not being taught,” Helton said. “Young people are not aware of the sacrifices that made their education free.”
Bob Cross, a Commandant with the Louisville detachment of the Marine Corps League, agrees. He said, “I think it’s very important that the kids be educated on the past because those that don't study the past are doomed to repeat it.”
The design of the park will include a sidewalk with three foot markers to represent each year of America’s military history, starting in 1776. If an American died in military action, that section of sidewalk will be colored.
Students at South Oldham High School and Middle School will also play a role in researching the information that will be featured on the historical markers that line the sidewalk.
“It’s just another thing to advance the classroom with U.S. history and military history,” Platt said. “I think it will be great for both schools, especially for some future history projects for kids and just being able to have a visual effect of how the wars traveled.”
“This is what makes us one of the most unique projects in the United States, recognizing the veterans and educating the community with a focus on the youth,” Helton said.
The goal is to have the Veterans Memorial Park of Kentucky open in spring 2014, but the exact timeline will depend on fundraising. The park’s board of directors is trying to raise $260,000.
For more information about the park and how to donate, go to http://www.veteransmemorialparkky.org.