WAURIKA, OK (KSWO) -A park in Waurika that's designed to honor those who served overseas is nearly complete.
After a year of planning and construction, Veterans Park in Waurika on Main Street is just a few months from completion. The park has benches with seals that represent each branch of the military, along with a war memorial monument that's been in Waurika for 20 years but was recently moved to the park. The Waurika Chamber of Commerce decided to build the park after seeing a similar park and realized they needed to do something to honor the veterans living in the Waurika area.
They are missing the center pieces of the park; five monuments will be in center of the park representing five wars with the names of active, retired and deceased veterans engraved on the back of the monuments that match the war they fought in.
Roxie Terry, a Vietnam veteran, says he is glad the community came together to build the park because he thinks a place like this will help soldiers when they come back home.
"They see what they have to see and they do what they have to do and then they come back to peaceful America. The transition is very difficult for them. They have a place like this where they could just come, sit down, look at the flag and realize, 'hey, I did it because I needed to do it and now I can be at peace,' and this is a place for them to come calm and relax and still realize how important it was," Terry said.
They tried to make the park have a peaceful feel by adding benches for visitors to sit and look at the monuments while remembering them or everything they went through. Waurika Chamber of Commerce president Jon Waid says everyone was onboard when they came up with the idea, because they wanted to show their appreciation and gratitude to the veterans living in Waurika and the surrounding areas. Community members helped fund the park through donations and attending chamber events like the car cruise and rodeo.
"What is most rewarding to me is to see the positive attitude and the positive energy that this brings out in the community to come together, and see that this project is finished and that it honors those who deserve to be recognized in this park," Waid said.
Terry says with all the negative things happening in America, it's nice to see residents of this small town remembering the sacrifices that veterans made.
"They still care for their veterans and love their country. The community to put in the money, the effort, these young men to do the work they've done...it's just awesome. Makes a veteran feel really, really good and appreciated and that doesn't happen very often anymore," Terry said.
Besides just being a peaceful place to go to remember a loved one, they plan to hold Veterans Day and Memorial Day ceremonies at the park.
If you have a loved one's name you'd like to have on a monument, forms need to be filled out and turned in to City Hall by Friday, July 22, with $25 attached to pay for the engraving. If you miss the deadline, they will try to have another engraving in the next six months to a year.
They hope to have the monuments engraved and put up no later than Veterans Day.