This coming October, the City of Bristol, its Parks, Recreation, Youth & Community Services Department, and the Bristol Historical Society, along with the Bristol Veterans Council, Memorial Military Museum, and the extended community plan to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the Memorial Boulevard which opened in 1921. The following is the seventh article in a monthly series written by Tom Dickau commemorating the centennial anniversary of the park by depicting the history behind the land, people, and events that helped shape it into the park Bristol treasures today. (part II)
VIETNAM MOVING WALL
North of the Veterans Tribute Walkway and directly behind the Conflict Memorials is the site where The Vietnam Veterans Moving Wall was situated. Since 1984 two half-size replicas of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial located in Washington D.C., have traveled to all fifty states and beyond. The Wall usually remains in the location for approximately one week. Citizens, unable to journey to our nation’s capital, are now afforded the opportunity to share in the experience, emotions and sacrifice associated with this war.
The inscription on the monument reads:
ON THIS SITE
THE VIETNAM VETERANS
AUGUST 11TH – 18TH, 1998
JUNE 8TH – 12TH, 2016
At the base of the memorial embedded at ground level are markers recognizing the six patriotic organizations that sponsored this event, as well as, the Bristol Veterans Tribute Walkway:
Franco– America War Veterans, Post #22
Seicheprey Post #2, American Legion
Capt. Edmund Zbikowski Post #2, Polish Legion of American Veterans
James McNamee, Chapter #5, Disabled American Veterans
Bristol Veterans Council
Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post # 994
The next memorial recognizes Bristol’s 1985 Bicentennial, as well as, paying homage to the military personnel who valiantly served our nation throughout the years. This plaque and stone tribute was jointly sponsored by The Older Members of the Bristol Boys Club and the Funk Funeral Home.
PERSIAN GULF MONUMENT
Moving east mounted on a stone base is the Persian Gulf War Memorial dedicated on August 7, 1994. The inscription reads:
THIS PLAQUE IS IN RECOGNITION
OF ALL MEN AND WOMEN
FROM BRISTOL AND FORESTVILLE
WHO SERVED THEIR COUNTRY
WITH PRIDE DURING THE
PERSIAN GULF WAR, OPERATION
WAR HONOR MEMORIAL
The Commemorative Side of the Veterans Memorial Park is completed with a monument honoring all Bristol citizens who have served our country. The inscription reads:
IN HONOR OF BRISTOL CITIZEN SOLDIERS
WHO, THROUGH SERVICE WITH MILITIA UNITS
AND THE NATIONAL GUARDS, HAVE DEFENDED
AND PRESERVED OUR COMMUNITY, STATE AND
NATION IN OUR WARS AND EMERGENCIES SINCE
To the left of the inscription is an image of a Revolutionary War Soldier with crossed muskets.
Article Eight, which will be published in August, will discuss the true significance, awareness, meaning and humanity which the City of Bristol should cherish for the dedicated military service provided by its residents, who willingly served and are now recognized on the Memorial Boulevard and the Veterans Memorial Park.