The city’s east park development committee is recommending aldermen agree to name the proposed park and sports complex to honor all military veterans.
During a committee meeting Wednesday, members suggested the park be named “Veterans Memorial Park.”
The name came at the request of local attorney Mark Vincent, who also requested an area at the front entrance of the proposed park for a memorial.
“When kids and others in the community walk by, they will remember all who have sacrificed and all that come after us,” Vincent said.
The memorial would be placed at the entrance of the proposed east park and sports complex that would be funded if a sales tax is approved in June.
The tax initiative would appear on the ballot as “Proposition Park” and will include a new one-half cent sales tax for the park. The tax would be reduced to a one-quarter cent sales tax after the bonds sold to fund the project mature, or after 20 years.
In April 2011, a proposed sales tax failed that would have funded the park and Union Parks and Recreation Department operations. The measure lost by 88 votes.
Vincent explained that the memorial would be, in part, dedicated to disabled veterans.
Vincent, whose father is a disabled vet, added that there is no current memorial for disabled veterans, although there are plans for a memorial in Washington, D.C.
“It would be nothing intrusive and we would try to incorporate an eternal flame,” he said.
A group of veterans, and others, are organizing to help design the memorial and raise funds to build it.
“They are willing to help and reach out to the young and old people in the community to help get this (sales tax) passed,” he said.
Vincent said that an organization with 501(c)(3) status, called the “Foundation to Honor Missouri Disabled Veterans” already has been formed.
City Administrator Russell Rost said a committee comprised of aldermen has supported the naming of the park to honor military veterans.
Alderman Dustin Bailey added that the park advisory board also is supportive of the name.
“It is very clean, simple,” Vincent said. “It is going to honor all veterans — all who served are valuable.”
Jim Jedrey, president of the Union Babe Ruth League, and advocate of the Proposition Park, asked how quickly aldermen would vote on the name “Veterans Memorial Park.”
Rost said there is a special board meeting Monday, April 16, when the board can vote on the proposed name.
“It would be nice to work with veterans,” Jedrey said. “It would make people more comfortable when they talk with people to refer to it as that (Veterans Memorial Park).