As we head into Memorial Day weekend we are reminded of all those who have served this country for us.
Veterans have touched our lives in ways that we can never fully appreciate but we do our small part by coming together to honor them each Memorial Day.
In Kent, that means the traditional Memorial Day parade that will start up on Main Street in downtown Kent at 10 am on Memorial Day and march it’s way down Main Street to Gougler Avenue where it will head north before wrapping up near Kent Roosevelt High School and the Standing Rock Cemetary which is the final resting spot for many friends and family that served their country.
It was last year on Memorial Day that Kent lost Kent Roosevelt graduate and local sports star Adam Hamilton when he was killed in Haji Ruf, Afghanistan, after his unit was attacked with an improvised explosive device (IED) while on a night mission. He was assigned to the 4thSquadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.
A year later his memory lives on and in his honor Kent Mayor Fiala will be unveiling a new street sign in front of Kent Roosevelt High School (immediately following this year’s Memorial Day parade) that dedicates that section of SR43 in Adam’s honor. The American Legion Color Guard will join the Mayor and Adam’s family for a short ceremonial unveiling of the new sign.
The loss of Adam led to a broader discussion of the need for a community-wide Veterans Memorial and I’m pleased to report that effort is now making great progress under the stewardship of PARTA. PARTA General Manager John Drew has launched the community Veteran’s Memorial initiative as part of the new transit center being built in downtown Kent.
John had the perfect spot in front of his new PARTA building and as a veteran himself he was pleased to be able to use some of the funds to underwrite this important Memorial. With PARTA’s financial commitment in place a small group of people from the City, PARTA, Kent State University and the community have been making steady progress at outlining the goals of the new Kent Veteran’s Memorial and soliciting ideas for what it should look like.
This group held a public meeting last week to take input from the general public and this week the official Call For Entry was posted on numerous web sites to spread the word that PARTA is taking bids/concepts for this new Kent Veterans Memorial. Architects and artists are encouraged to team up and get a proposal submitted no later than June 27, 2012. The goal is to have the Memorial design concept selected this year and constructed and on-site in July 2013.
For the complete details on the PARTA Call For Entry please check out PARTA’s central gateway web site.
Veterans hold a special place in our lives and we think they deserve an equally special place in our community with a new Memorial to be built in their honor.