Six years after the Battle Ground City Council began planning a new veterans memorial to honor fallen soldiers from the city, construction is just about to begin.
The city will host a groundbreaking ceremony at 11 a.m. on March 11 at Kiwanis Park, in Battle Ground, where the memorial will be built. And for the many involved in the planning process, it’s been a long journey to get to this point.
Inspiration for the memorial came from Army Pvt. Andrew Shields, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2008. The 19-year-old lost his life in a suicide bomber attack that May, and the following year, the council decided to get moving on the memorial project.
Since then, the Battle Ground City Council and the Parks Advisory Board have struggled to find enough money to build the memorial. Due to city budget constraints, the project depends solely on public donations and in-kind contributions.
So far, more than $26,000 has come in from businesses, organizations and individuals throughout the community. That’s only a fraction of the overall cost projection, though.
Aside from Shields, the city’s count shows about 30 other Battle Ground residents have died in battle in the past 75 years. The list includes troops from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War and the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
For more information about the memorial or how to donate to the cause, visit cityofbg.org/veteransmemorial. At the site, you can also see the entire list of veterans to be honored at the park and conceptual plans for the design of the memorial.
The list can grow, as the city allows the public to purchase bricks featuring the name of any veteran, living or dead.