CASA GRANDE — The date to break ground on the Pinal County Veterans Memorial at Ed Hooper Rodeo Park has been set for Nov. 11.
“It’s been a long journey and slow going, but we’re starting to pick up speed,” said Robert Miller, president of the Pinal County Veterans Memorial Foundation. “It’s super exciting.”
The foundation is currently working with a contractor to file the correct permits with the city of Casa Grande, he said. The foundation hopes to have the permits in place before the groundbreaking so construction can start immediately.
The memorial has a circular design with individual panels for each branch of the armed services. The names of each fallen Pinal County veteran will be inscribed on the panel dedicated to that person’s service branch. A second phase of development will add a picnic area, ramada and additional parking to the location.
Several new touches to the memorial will be unveiled at the groundbreaking, Miller said. Those include locating the circular memorial in such a way that the light from the sun at sunrise and sunset on Veterans Day will shine down the path leading into the memorial.
The organization is also considering a series of donation packages that include memorial bricks, benches and even flagpoles that could be engraved with a beloved veteran’s name or a message of thanks.
The bricks would be used to pave the walkway into the memorial and benches and flagpoles would be set either inside the memorial or in the park-like area surrounding the memorial. Proceeds from the sale of the bricks and benches would be used to help fund construction and upkeep of the memorial, Miller said.
“We’re excited for the community and excited to get to the next step,” he said.