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Veteran’s Pavilion complete at Sam Michael’s Park

By Staff | Nov 14, 2014

Dignitaries and guests, including several Veterans, gathered Friday, Nov. 7 at Sam Michael’s Park to take part in a dedication ceremony for the county’s newest picnic pavilion. The pavilion, located adjacent to the Jefferson County Community Center, offers tribute to Veterans who have served in all branches of the military.

Jennifer Myers, director of Jefferson County Parks and Recreation, said that the groundbreaking for the pavilion took place in early spring with hopes to have the dedication coincide with the county’s July 4th celebration. Weather and construction delays caused the ribbon cutting ceremony to be put on hold. Instead, Myers selected the weekend of Veteran’s Day for the event.

“We decided to not have the ribbon cutting on Veteran’s Day itself because we know so many of our Veterans are involved in other ceremonies that day,” Myers said.

The pavilion features a memorial wall adorned with medallions representing all branches of military service. The medallions were paid for with donations from the community including one such donation from County Commissioner Lyn Widmyer and her family who specifically purchased the Air Force medal in honor of her father. Other funds came from Sen. John Unger through his ability allocate state funds as well as donations from churches in the Harpers Ferry area.

The Jefferson County Commission donated funding for the project as a match in grant funding from the Land and Conservation Fund, Myers said. The total cost of the project was approximately $180,000; however, Myers said she hopes to add a patio, garden, benches and lights to the area which may jump the cost nearer to $200,000.

The ceremony Friday included remarks from Sen. Unger as well as Widmyer and County Commissioner Dale Manuel. The Washington High School Camerata Chamber Choir was on hand to sing the National Anthem and ‘God Bless America’ was played by trumpeter Emma Phillips from Jefferson High School. Joining other youth in the event were members of the Jefferson County Play and Learn Preschool class who led the Pledge of Allegiance. Jefferson High’s JROTC Color Guard also participated.

Myers hopes to work with local Veteran’s groups to plan special events at the pavilion.