MARCO ISLAND — Local contractor, Allied Pavers has begun construction of the Veterans Memorial. Pavers are being engraved, while benches and flagpoles are waiting to be installed. “The Veterans Memorial should be complete in 45 days,” said Bryan Milk, Parks and Recreation Director and Interim City Planner.
Bryan Milk, Steve Stefanides and Jim Hodgdon met on site of the Memorial to check its progress. “Royal Palms have lined the perimeter for some time, but seeing it like this, you get a much better sense of the size and layout,” Stefanides commented.
“We should all be proud of the City of Marco Island, the VFW, the Coast Guard Auxiliary, and the Civil Air Patrol, plus the many residents and companies that have contributed to bring this memorial to life after many years of planning,” Lee Rubenstein, chairman of the fundraising committee noted. “The Veterans Memorial will open with a dedication ceremony on 11/11/11. City Council Chairman Jerry Gibson will begin the dedication ceremony at 10:15 a.m.
“Guest Speaker for the event will be Major General James A. Guest, who has served our country valiantly for over 33 years and is pleased to be on Marco Island for the dedication of the memorial and the annual Veterans Day service,” said VFW Commander, Jim Lang. “He was my company commander in Vietnam, in charge of Company D, 2nd Battalion (Airborne). His military career progressed, when he retired, he was Commander of the United States Special Operations Force, J-3, at MacDill Air Force Base. He’s earned numerous decorations and badges including the Silver Star and the Bronze Star Medal with V device.”
In addition to the City of Marco Island funding of $60,000, Lee Rubenstein notes that the Veterans Memorial Fundraising committee raised over $175,000 in a short period of time by selling commemorative benches, flagpoles and engraved pavers. Around the star in the center of the memorial are five medallions, one for each branch of the service. One has been donated by the parents of two active duty Marines. The remaining four service medallions are still available with a $5,000 donation which includes an engraved paver in the donor’s honor.
Engraved pavers are available on an ongoing basis and on display at Mackle Park. A personalized paver is a caring and patriotic way to honor a loved one. There are three sizes of pavers ranging in price from $100 to $500.
If you order now, there is still time to have a paver in place for the dedication ceremony! Contact Patty Mastronardi, Parks and Recreation Department 239/389-5035 for more information. All proceeds from donations will be used for future memorial enhancements.