Conway breaks ground on Veterans’ Memorial Park

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 25, 2007

CONWAY – Local veterans of all different wars came out to participate in the ground breaking of Conway’s Veterans’ Memorial Park.

Veterans, citizens and officials alike chatted after the ground breaking ceremony that was held on Thursday.

“I’ve enjoyed it,” said World War II veteran Andrew Maddrey about the event.

Maddrey along with James Martin stood beside Conway Mayor Brian Bolton as he dug into the ground. Maddrey and Martin are two of the town’s surviving World War II veterans.

“It’s great to see all of us come together,” said Jesse L. Hood of Conway, who belongs to VFW Post 4312 based in Seaboard. “Living, dead…we’re all brothers. We fought for the same cause: freedom.”

The park will be located next to the Conway Town Hall on Highway 158. The memorial will consist of 8”x8” bricks for veterans and current members of the military. Those bricks will feature the names and branch of service and cost $150 each. Bricks for civilians and businesses (4”x8”) are also available for $100.

Bolton said 250 bricks so far have been sold and $38,000 has been raised to dat. The park has room for 1,000 bricks and $100,000 is the goal for the park. The park is open to anyone in Northampton County.

Other veterans from neighboring towns also came to see the ground breaking, including veterans from Aulander. John Perry and Anthony Marra of VFW Post 11226 came to see the ceremony despite it being in the next county.

Perry said the ground breaking is a crucial step for making a plan a reality, as it was when Aulander got its very own memorial.

“It’s an exhilarating step,” said Perry who served in the Army Paratroopers and stationed in Lebanon. “I’m looking forward to seeing it.”

Marra said he was in support of anything that honors veterans.

“I think it’s about time we honor our veterans,” said Northampton County Commissioner James Hester (D-1), who came out for the event.

Bolton said he was happy to see the number of people who came out to watch the groundbreaking.

“There are a lot of anti-war feelings going on right now, so much politics,” said Bolton. “We need to support our troops. We hope they’ll be honored as well.”

Bolton said on Monday the leveling of the park will begin followed by the foundation work of the memorial.

Another fundraiser is in the works for the project.

Those interested in purchasing a brick can call the Conway Town Hall at (252) 585-0488.