City of Newport's nod to military veterans taking shape
The city of Newport has moved a step closer to honoring its military veterans with a memorial at the city's most historic park.
Newport City Council members approved a concept plan recently for the city's first veterans memorial at Pioneer Park. It will feature a circular plaza of pavers and flower beds surrounding a flag pole the city dedicated last year.
The plans call for bricks to be inscribed with the names of Newport residents, living and deceased, who have served in the United States Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, National Guard or Coast Guard. Family and friends of veterans can purchase a brick for $75 to honor loved ones.
"I think everybody has tentatively agreed that this is the way we want to go," City Administrator Brian Anderson said recently.
The memorial's site, historic Pioneer Park, located at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Sixth Street, has some military history of its own: it is the location, in 1861, where roughly 50 men from around south Washington County mustered into military service before setting off on a ferry down the Mississippi River to fight in the Civil War. The first 42 bricks laid at the memorial, Anderson said, will be etched with the names of those Newport residents who signed up that day and set off for war.
The cost memorial's cost is unclear, Anderson said; the city is seeking quotes for the flower bed, pavers and construction of a sidewalk. Officials said they hope to cover most of the cost through the sale of bricks. Should they fall short, Anderson said city dollars from a Pioneer Park fund could help make up the difference.
Neighboring Cottage Grove is also set to unveil its first veterans memorial this fall when the city's new city hall and public safety complex opens.