CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Despite the gloomy weather Friday, dozens gathered on the Village Green in Canfield to dedicate a new Veterans Plaza.
“We wanted something Canfield could have that would honor not only the area veterans but all veterans,” said Mike Kubitza, with the Canfield American Legion Post 177.
The project, which broke ground in August, features a lighted walkway and benches facing flags for each branch of the military as well as Prisoners of War, all surrounding the Stars and Stripes.
A small group of community members started brainstorming for a way to honor veterans four years ago. The original plan was to place American flags on the highway overpasses in town, but that idea was rejected by both ODOT and the Turnpike Commission, so organizers had to come up with a plan B.
“We said there is something we can do on the north end of the green that will attract people, and veterans in particular, when they want to gather and meet,” said Chuck Coleman, with American Legion Post 177.
The first phase was the installation of a new 60-foot tall flag pole, which was dedicated a year ago. Then, came the process of raising the $115,000 to pay for the plaza.
“It’s knocking on doors. It’s writing letters. It’s stopping people in the street when they walk by. Once we had the flag pole, which was the first thing we did last year, that attracted a lot of interest,” Coleman said.
Organizers say the third and final phase will be the installation of new granite monuments inscribed with the names of those who donated to bring the plaza to fruition. Those should be in place by Memorial Day 2023.