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Sixth wall, entry signs added to Veterans Park

Papillion Times - 12/28/2017

When Veterans Park debuted in 2014, there was little doubt it would become a popular venue.

Three years later, it has reached far beyond those initial hopes.

A sixth wall that will eventually be filled with names of veterans from across the area was constructed earlier this month. There is also two new entry signs in place for the park.

"I always knew it would be popular, but I didn't know it would go this fast," said Tony Gowan, Papillion Parks and Facilities director. "This has always been a strong Air Force community, but now we have the influx of other military."

Veterans Park began with two walls when it opened in November 2014 and four walls have been added since.

Four walls are already filled, with 136 names on each, and Gowan anticipates the fifth wall will be filled with names by the end of the year.

"We got a lot of requests as Christmas gifts," Gowan said.

The new entry walls were put in place in late-November, showcasing many of the features of the memory walls.

"We wanted them to have a similar feel, but they are a little different," Gowan said. "We wanted something to denote the park itself and we didn't want to do a regular park sign."

Gowan said some of the projects are funded through the city's budget while others are handled through donations. Name plates on the walls cost $200.

There are other projects planned for down the road, once funding becomes available. Gowan said the first priority will be to have lights to illuminate the entry signs and the walls.

"We are hoping to get that done by the end of next year," he said.

Other future projects include a reflection pond, timeline walkway and a design to honor donors.

Gowan said the park is a source of pride for the city.

"I'm real proud of the park, especially since I'm a military brat and both my dad and nephew have their names on a wall," he said. "Whenever I drive by, I usually see someone looking or sitting at the park. It's become one of our most popular parks."

Anyone interested in having a name placed on a wall can contact the Papillion Community Foundation at papillionfoundation.org/veterans_park_signup.aspx or at 402-331-3917.

 
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