The Murphy Veterans Tribute is making significant strides towards its vision of a profound and heartfelt memorial, but it faces some challenges that need the community’s support. Realizing the importance of adapting to current circumstances, the project’s directors have regrouped and reevaluated their approach. With a determined spirit, they have fine-tuned the design to align with a more affordable budget without compromising the essence of the tribute.
Phase One, depicted in a site diagram below, retains the original footprint while adhering to a reduced budget. The designated site, adjacent to the amphitheater in Central Park, was allocated by the city after the Veterans Tribute project was launched in 2017. Fundraising initiatives and events have been successful, but the project encountered obstacles stemming from rising labor and supply costs, economic fluctuations, and COVID-related fundraising setbacks.
The new design holds a ring of honor embracing a serene grassy area, adorned with three flagpoles proudly flying the American flag, the Texas flag, and the Prisoner of War/Missing in Action flag. During the Spring Fever event, a circle of smaller flags marked the layout, offering a glimpse of the tribute’s inspiring potential. The organizers have made strides in clearing the underbrush with the help of a landscape contractor, but more work remains, as some trees are marked for removal.
A central goal of the tribute is to provide an educational experience for visitors while paying tribute to our veterans. Markers within the circle will display quotes from historical military figures, further enriching the visitation experience. Additionally, the flags will be illuminated at night, and benches will be thoughtfully placed to offer visitors moments of reflection and respite. Ensuring accessibility, the sidewalk will be designed in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act to accommodate visitors with mobility challenges.
To make this dream a reality, the project currently has approximately $58,000 in funds, but it is anticipated that the total cost will amount to about $300,000. As the project progresses, the organizers are open to in-kind donations, recognizing the potential support from the community. Various fundraising avenues are being explored, including golf and pickleball tournaments, as well as applying for grants to boost financial backing.
For those seeking to honor veterans, the project presents a unique opportunity to have their names and branch insignias inscribed on paving stones for a heartfelt tribute, available at a cost of $175.
Receiving positive feedback, Deputy Mayor pro tern Jene Butler expressed admiration for the new design, while Mayor Scott Bradley highlighted that, being on park land, the city would provide ongoing maintenance support, eliminating the need for additional budgeting. Furthermore, the city’s municipal workers would be responsible for raising and lowering the flags during adverse weather conditions, ensuring that the tribute remains a dignified and well-maintained site.
The 2023 board for the project includes Secretary Debbie Brumit, Treasurer Larry Hawkins, and directors Mary Lange, Ruth Clifton, and Kevin Finnell, all of whom are dedicated to bringing this poignant tribute to life.
To delve deeper into the project’s journey and to support this heartfelt initiative, we encourage you to read the full article published by the Murphy Monitor. By coming together as a community, we can ensure this tribute stands as a lasting symbol of gratitude and remembrance for our veterans.