This week construction on the Georgia Veterans Memorial started with groundbreaking at the Black Shoals Park location.

The initial phase of the six acre memorial park will include construction of the entrance to the memorial, a fountain, a pathway that will lead through the memorial, and statue of five soldiers.

The five soldiers represent the five military branches and will wear uniforms representing the five major conflicts in the 20th century. A 1500 square foot botanical garden near the entrance is already underway. Once completed the memorial will include a Walk of Heroes commemorating veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean War, The Vietnamese War, and the Persian Gulf War. Along the walk will be commemorative pavers and at the rear of the memorial will be a ceremony plaza with a stage for events.

The vision for a Veterans Memorial began with former Rockdale Commissioner C.M. “Bud” Sosebee, who wanted to create a place to honor veterans without glorifying war.he said that he wants visitors in the park to see that soldiers “were a brother, a cousin, an uncle or a father.”

Sosebee said he hopes the memorial will be as much a memorial as a place to learn history.

The Georgia Veterans Memorial Park Foundation is a non-profit organization and receives funding from private and public sources, including Rockdale County and the federal government. This year $200,000 was allocated to the Veterans memorial Park from the homestead option sales tax (HOST). Thanks to the efforts of United States Representative David Scott, the House of Representatives has allocated $500,000 to build pedestrian walkways, bridges, and car access for the memorial in the 2004 appropriations bill.