Interesting Memorial Facts
What’s The Story Behind The Memorial
There are approximately 10,000 bricks in the plaza of the memorial and currently over 2600 are engraved with the names of men and women who have served or are currently serving our Country. There are also two expansion areas on each side of the memorial capable of holding an additional 5,000 bricks for a total of 20,000 bricks.
The 14-foot, 5-sided monolith made from the same black granite used to construct the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington DC, was mined in South Africa, and came to the United States by ship through the St. Lawrence Seaway into Canada. It then made its way through Minnesota before arriving in Ohio. Bronze medallions for the 5 branches of the military are attached to each side of the monolith which is topped with an eternal flame.
There are four (4) granite benches flanking the plaza and a time capsule container that were made from granite panels removed from the front of the Franklin County Veteran’s Memorial in downtown Columbus, Ohio after it was remodeled. The benches are inscribed as follows:
DEDICATED TO THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO SERVED
WHO GAVE THEIR FULL MEASURE FOR GOD AND COUNTRY
TO PRESERVE FREEDOM AND LIBERTY FOR US ALL
THROUGH US THEY WILL LIVE FOREVER AND NEVER BE FORGOTTEN
A service flag from each military branch flies on poles around the monolith, serving as the centerpiece of the Memorial where the eternal flame burns brightly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
The time capsule contents were gathered from local schools, service organizations, residents and committee members. The enclosure with the time capsule was sealed on Veteran’s Day, 2000 and is to be opened on Veteran’s Day, 2050.
Planning for the park began in 1996 with the first donation coming from The Kroger Company in December 1997 in the amount of $1000.00. Work began on the park in 1998 and the memorial was officially dedicated with all of the granite amenities in place on Memorial Day 2000.
The memorial sits on the site of the former Gahanna Discovery Park where Johnstown Road dead-ends at Big Walnut Creek. VFW Post 4719 also donated a small parcel of land at the south end of the park to the city in 1998. This was done so the memorial was large enough to allow for 20,000 engraved bricks.
There are three memorial trees planted at the rear of the memorial with bronze plaques honoring three local Veterans. Two of these plaques were moved from the Gahanna Senior Center (the original site of the Gahanna branch of the Columbus Public Library) to the new Veterans Memorial Park after being discovered buried under the soil in flower beds where they lay for many years. The third plaque is in memory of a local Gahanna Lincoln High School graduate who was killed during the war in Iraq.
The memorial is also flanked by “Founder’s Field” with 7 additional memorial trees honoring founding members of the Gahanna Veterans Memorial Committee who are deceased.
Memorial Timeline Facts
- Committee was formed in 1997
- First donation was by the Kroger company in 1997 of $1000.00
- George Parker, Bob Thurman and Frank Treadway, as a special committee, provided the memorial design
- Site was chosen in 1998
- Construction began in 1998
- First ceremony was held in 1999
- Granite monolith and other granite pieces were placed in 1999-2000
- Official dedication was in 2000
- Two ceremonies are held per year, Memorial Day and Veterans Day
- As of 2018 more than 2600 bricks are in the memorial