It's know as Michigan's Most Beautiful Mile. Situated between Muskegon and North Muskegon, the Veterans Memorial Park is surrounded by the Causeway. It connects the two municipalities, it's a popular commuter route and it holds the history of Muskegon's dedication to freedom honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedom we all hold so dear.
Originally dedicated in 1934 on Armistice Day, the Veterans Memorial Park is some of the most sacred ground in all of Muskegon County. By the numbers, there are 104 honored from World War 1, 392 from World War 2, 35 from Korea, 60 from Vietnam, and 4 from the post Vietnam era. It's a beautiful spot to remember, reflect and honor the 595 people we have lost from Muskegon County. Hallowed grounds to say the very least.
Time and the elements have certainly taken their toll on the original design, but for the last couple of years, work has been going on behind the scenes to return the park to it's original plan and in the Summer of 2017, a lot of work will be going into the park to not only preserve what's there but to make sure what's there that's not supposed to be is gone and the ecology of the area can do a better job or preserving itself. You've seen the cat tails pop up along the ponds...they have not only grown, they've overgrown and cut the flowing water off from the river. You've seen some rust accumulate on some of the infrastructure, some trees have died or been diseased and the underwater conditions for the aquatic life need to be restored.
The work gets underway soon, but not before the public has an opportunity to hear all about what's going to happen and when it will take place. You are encouraged to join the Muskegon County Department of Veterans Affairs at Muskegon Community College on May 24th at 6pm to learn the size and the scope of this project. The important thing is, every detail is being meticulously mapped, marked and noted so that upon completion the hero's who are enshrined in the park are given their due respect and an improved setting for those wishing to visit. It's been an exhaustive process, but nothing is more important than making sure the future of the park is preserved.
I was able to catch up with Dave Eling and Bob Carter to talk about the improvements, the process and the event where you are encouraged to attend, inquire and see if you can have a role in helping. Take a listen to our discussion below.