QC veterans & families celebrate phase 2 of Davenport's Veterans Memorial Park
Thursday morning, hundreds of people celebrated the completion of several big projects at the park.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony began with a Chinook helicopter flyover.
Several American Legion honor guards were on hand while the Friends of Veterans Memorial Park, city officials, and others spent more than an hour thanking individuals, businesses, city employees, union workers, volunteers and others who contributed money, materials, and labor to create a park that honors all veterans.
Bill Churchill, President of the Friends group, thanked many, many people, including one of the group's oldest members, Myron Lynch. He'll celebrate his 95th birthday on Saturday.
Veterans Memorial Park is located on Davenport's riverfront near the Marquette Street boat ramp. The Friends group raised the money and in-kind donations to provide several key elements:
- A bronze statue of a bugler will eventually include a sound system to play Reveille and Taps every day.
- Signs along the park trail describe veterans and their service.
- A large mural was painted by Davenport West High School art teacher, Dave Schaeffer.
Davenport West Industrial Technology teacher, Andy Zinn, took time to thank his students, former students, contractors, and others who helped design and build the mural's concrete and steel foundation.
The City of Davenport spent capital improvement funds to clear the site, build a Mississippi River overlook, install a walking path, and create an amphitheater.
Churchill, the head of Friends of Veterans Memorial Park, thanked everyone those who donated time, talent, and money to the projects. And he says the group's work will continue into the 3rd phase since there's a total of 43 acres to develop.
After the ribbon-cutting, the entire crowd enjoyed watching three parachuters jump out of an airplane, and land in the Davenport park that'll benefit veterans and the Quad Cities area for years to come.