The Hastings City Council Monday approved the use of the area around the Civil War soldier’s monument at Tyden Park for the new Veteran’s Plaza after a presentation by Dr. Jim Atkinson.
The city’s veteran’s memorial, a joint venture of the Hastings and American Legion Post 45, will be built around the existing monument and include four benches, three memorials, stamped concrete areas, a total of eight lit flagpoles, one for each of the six branches of the military, including the Merchant Marines, one for the POW/MIA, and a taller one for the American flag.
The veteran’s monuments and Blue Star Highway marker now at the Barry County Courthouse will be moved to the Veteran’s Plaza. With the approval, bids will be sought. No firm financial figures are available yet because the plans are not finalized, Atkinson said.
The $15,000 allocated for the memorial comes from the Parks and Recreation capital improvements fund. The Barry Community Foundation is holding $600 raised a few years ago, and will accept donations from individuals or businesses for the memorial.
The council approved holding the Memorial Day Parade on May 30 stepping off at 9:30 a.m. Atkinson said the parade will take the same route it always has, gathering at Boltwood Street and marching to Riverside Cemetery while making several stops along the route to place wreaths and execute a gun volley.
An official city Proclamation read by Mayor Frank Campbell set May 19 through 21 for the red Poppy drive by the American Legion Post 45 Auxiliary. //
The Poppy is recognized as a symbol of the sacrifice of all who served in the military and died serving their country, and the hope that none died in vain, Campbell said. The nine-piece poppies are all assembled by veterans. Poppies are never sold, but given for a contribution.
The bright red poppy became the symbol of fallen soldiers through a poem written by Canadian Colonel John McCrae about the stark contrast of red poppies blooming on the graves of hundreds of soldiers who died on Flanders battlefields in western Belgium and Northern France in World War I.
The poppy was adopted as the official memorial flower of the VFW at its national convention in Seattle in August of 1922, following the first nationwide distribution of poppies ever conducted by any veteran’s organization.