Local Veteran Speaks To City Rotary

Rotary Club of Jamestown recently listened to a presentation by Ron Cotton, a retired Navy veteran and past president of the Veterans’ Council who was responsible for the Remember the 59 grave markers project in Lakeview Cemetery.

Cotton spoke to the club about the Veterans’ Memorial Park project which is being developed at the intersections of West Third Street, Logan Avenue and Harding Avenue on Jamestown’s west side. The project’s purpose is to recognize all veterans who have served at all times, to honor their sacrifices and the sacrifices of their families. The park will be focused on all branches of our military services throughout our country’s history, not on any one particular service or conflict.

Cotton presented a drawing of the planned layout of the park. The park’s design concept is very striking and includes a brick walkway featuring circular areas which will house monuments; an area for a mounted cannon; a flagpole; a tall central monument; and six smaller monuments and benches. Five of the smaller monuments will recognize a military service (Coast Guard, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Army), and the sixth small monument will recognize POW/MIAs. Handicap accessibility will be provided.

Already some development has occurred involving the Disabled American Veterans and the Blue Star Mothers who are having a dedication this April. Once it is constructed, the park will be maintained by the city of Jamestown.

The total cost of the project is budgeted to be $150,000. To date $70,000 has been raised, some of which has been used to pay for the flagpole and temporary lighting. The remaining $80,000 will be needed to complete the project, including the brick central circle, the smaller monuments and benches, the central monument and the base for the cannon. There are naming opportunities for major donors. The Chautauqua Region Community Foundation is handling the funds for the project. Donations can be made to the CRCF’s Veteran’s Park Relocation Fund.

Cotton reminded the group that the monument is important because of the service men and women it is honoring. The memorial park will be the location for future veterans’ ceremonies, celebrations of holidays and community special events honoring veterans.