As we honor the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have served our country in the armed forces on Veteran’s Day, Plymouth has a special space where local vets can be honored. In June, the city dedicated the Plymouth Veterans Memorial, located near the Hilde Performance Center. “I think people are pretty excited about it,” says Diane Evans, director of Plymouth parks and recreation. “I think the number of people [at the dedication ceremony] attests to the importance to the community.”
The memorial is one of several elements of the Hilde Performance Center and park renovation, designed by WSB & Associates. Most prominently, it features a memorial wall with room for up to 1,300 veterans’ names to be engraved upon its Minnesota black granite façade. The memorial also features a seating area, water feature, walkways and beautiful landscaping to honor those who have served.
“Mayor [Kelli Slavik] has been a huge proponent for [the memorial],” recreation manager Regina Michaud says. “We had the idea and the desire, it was just [a matter of] finding the opportunity.” When the Hilde started its renovations in July 2014 to widen the main entrance and add trails, Slavik and the City Council pushed for the memorial to be rolled into the renovations. Evans estimates the memorial’s cost at about $400,000, funded through city dollars.
Veterans do not have to be Plymouth residents to be considered for inclusion on the memorial wall. Applications will be reviewed by the city’s Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Committee, and the wall will be engraved with new names each summer.