Preliminary plans are underway to create a veteran's memorial area in Stockton City Park.

In response to the gift of a panel of names of Vietnam deceased military from The Wall That Heals, the city's park board members eagerly agreed a veteran's memorial should be created close to the west pavilion. A Stockton Veteran's Memorial committee was established and work begins.

A representative from each of the local veterans organizations — VFW Post 5525, American Legion Post 230 and Amvets Post 116 — was invited to the table for input and to work with the park board to move this project forward.

The initial idea is for the panel to be the centerpiece, surrounded by some sort of masonry structure. Rocks from the old jail have been offered for use by Cedar County Historical Society, but it is unclear if the memorial area's budget can afford the costs to move them from their current storage location. Several structural options and a less expensive alternative will be researched.

Metal emblems representing the different branches of service will surround the panel.

A concrete area is planned for in front of the panel. Concrete benches and shepherd hooks will surround an area of engraved pavers along with a flag from each service branch.

A memorial plaque for POW/MIA and Purple Heart recipients will sit on either side of the panel.

The committee would like to include a water feature or metal artwork, such as a fire pit, in the middle of the paver brick area, but finances may preclude that from being included for the initial build.

The committee's intent is for this area to honor our military, veterans and community.

The above mentioned paver bricks will be available for the public. A fund will be opened with Community Foundation of the Ozarks to accept donations and hold the money for bricks. Donations of $50 for a brick will be considered a tax-deductible donation through CFO.

Bricks can be ordered at Stockton City Hall. The check should be made payable to Stockton Community Foundation with Stockton Veterans Memorial Fund in the memo line.

The committee's next step is to research memorials, material costs and a final design.

Any donation the public wishes to make to ensure this plan reaches fruition would be welcome.

The Stockton Veterans Memorial Fund committee includes park board members president Teresa Burns, vice-president Lynn Erickson, secretary Marilyn Ellis, Janet Beavers, Maggie Bough, Beth Cumins and Becky Groff; Stacey Picard; and veteran organization representatives Ray Wimsatt, Don Hunt, Leonard Hopkins and Chuck Schroder.

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