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In January 2015, Mr. Carl Quesenberry of American Legion Nordonia Hills Post 801 presented to the Post a request that a memorial to honor veterans should be erected in the Nordonia Hills community. The Post agreed to take on the project.
Mr. Tom O’Brien, chaplain for the Post and active in the City of Macedonia, lobbied Mayor Don Kuchta to permit the Memorial to be erected in the Veterans Park that was donated in 1928 by Colonel E. C .Peck. Mayor Kuchta and the City Council enthusiastically agreed and renamed the park to Veterans Memorial Park and dedicated to all veterans.
In 2016 then Mayor Joseph Migliorini suggested that it should not stop at just a Memorial but that the entire Park should be refurbished to properly honor them. With that, at the request of Post 801, the Advisory Planning Committee was expanded to include the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6768. Dave Pristash, Post 801 commander, was placed in charge of the project.
The plans for the park went through many suggestions and design changes before being finalized. To complete Phase One in time for the September dedication ceremony, many hours were put in by Macedonia’s Service Department, Dan Davis (101st Airborne in Vietnam) of Post 6768, Frank Posar (Army Security Agency, Vietnam era) of Post 801 and Dave Pristash (5th Special Forces in Vietnam) of Posts 801 and 6768. Dan, Frank and Dave were on their knees from sunup to sundown to install over 3,600 pavers in the plaza.
Phase One was completed in time for the dedication held on September 16th.
Phase One consists of the Memorial flanked by the VFW Post 6768 and the American Legion Post 801 granite benches, the Main Archway, the War on Terror and the Vietnam War Monuments each flanked by a donated bench, three flagpoles, and the inscribed pavers donated to date. The monuments, pavers, website and dedication ceremony were created and managed by Jim Krasnicki (Convey Commander on Thunder Road in Vietnam) of Posts 801 and 6768 and his wife Kathy.
A lot done but a lot more to be done to complete the entire vision for the park.
When completed there will be a special spot for the names of Nordonia Hills’ veterans that were killed in action (KIA). (Please refer to the tab on the park website marked KIA for details on how to have someone listed.)
In addition eight smaller monuments with a brief history of each of the major conflicts since the Revolutionary War will be added. The original memorial from World War I and the cannon that were originally in the park will be returned after being refurbished.
Handicapped accessible picnic tables and benches will be placed throughout the park along with cement walkways. After the dedication the city received a large donation that will allow them to build an ADA compliant rest room starting this fall.
Tax deductible donations, such as yours, would greatly help to achieve the vision. What a great way to be remembered or celebrate the life of a loved one by donating to make the Veterans Memorial Park possible.