New Veterans Park memorial honors those who stayed behind
Bill John assists his grandmother, Dona Dee Carpenter, so she can get a better view of the Gold Star Mothers memorial that she donated to the Veterans Memorial Park in Scott City. A dedication ceremony was held under rainy skies last Wedneday afternoon.
By Rod Haxton, editor
Dona Dee Carpenter is accustomed to seeing war memorials that honor veterans and those who have “made the ultimate sacrifice.”
But she always felt an important group that also makes sacrifices during war has often been forgotten - the wives and the mothers of those who have been sent into combat.
She knows. She was one of those wives during World War II.
Carpenter has fulfilled her dream of honoring those individuals with last week’s unveiling of a Gold Star Mothers statue and plaque that’s been added to the Veterans Park Memorial on east K96 Highway in Scott City.
“This is something that grandma has talked about and that she wanted from the time she decided she wanted to donate this ground for a memorial park,” says her grandson, Bill John, Scott City. “It took awhile for all of this to happen, but we wanted to make sure that her vision would be accomplished.”
Discussion about creating a veterans park began 4-5 years ago as a joint venture between Carpenter and the Scott Community Foundation.
However, the start of that discussion was a matter of good fortune. John recalls when he and his grandmother were traveling through Ness City and were detoured because of road work. That took them by a local park that had a memorial for veterans.
“When we saw that, Dona Dee said she wanted that to happen in Scott City and she had the place for it,” says John.
“We were struggling with finding a place to put a memorial when Dona Dee stepped forward with an offer to donate the land,” says SCF Director Ryan Roberts. “But she said the one stipulation was that she be able to do something to honor the Gold Star Mothers.”
Gold Star Mothers is an organization of mothers who have lost a son or daughter in service to the country. John said that as discussion of the memorial began to take shape, Carpenter wanted something that would recognize all women, “not just those who lost someone in war, but those women who stayed behind during war and didn’t know if they would see their husbands again.”
Once Carpenter had a clear idea of what she wanted to see in the park, it became a matter of developing those plans and raising the money.
tremendous job of making this happen. Grandma is very pleased with the result,” John says.
Project manager Shane Faurot also helped with designing and preparing the plaque and base that are beside the statue of a mother who is kneeling while holding a folded American flag.
Carpenter was in attendance during last week’s dedication ceremony that was held under a light shower.
“The plaque is very extraordinary and the statue makes it all come together,” says John. “It’s a great addition to the park.”
Roberts says more improvements are still planned for the park, including a touch screen monitor where one can access the names of all veterans who have served in any service branch from Scott County. He hopes to have this completed in the near future.
In addition, memorial bricks can still be purchased for veterans and they will be added to existing bricks in the park. Anyone wanting to purchase a brick can contact the Foundation.
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