Samantha Pidde Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald
---- — FULTON, Ill. — Fulton American Legion Commander Bill Blecha’s goal is to have a park where members of the community can reflect on the sacrifices of past, present and future veterans.
This dream is taking form in the new Veteran’s Memorial Park, along Illinois 84, in Fulton. Members of the community, city administration and the American Legion gathered at noon Thursday at the area near the former Cousin’s building for a ground-breaking of what will be a memorial park.
The park property was given to the American Legion by Community State Bank. After the ceremony, Vice President Patti Housenga said the bank is proud to donate this land to the organization so that children will grow up aware of the sacrifices veterans have made.
“We’re trying to embrace the entire community on this project,” Blecha said.
Some legion funds have been earmarked and set aside as seed money for the park. The group also is looking for donations and grants to support the project. Area Eagle Scouts have even volunteered to do some of the work.
The park will feature a cannon, which temporarily resides in the downtown area. The first projects will be putting up flag poles and getting electricity on the site. Eventually, Blecha hopes to see monuments at the park.
City Administrator Randy Balk said he has been happy to work with the American Legion on the park. He said this area will be a great location to remind people of veterans’ service. Mayor Larry Russell thanked the veterans for all of their time spent in the town.
“It’s a greater community because of you,” Russell said.