East Rotary Donates $50,000 to Veterans Memorial Garden | neighborhood supplement

SUBMITTED BY MAGGIE STUCKEY-ROSS, Executive Director, Lincoln Parks Foundation, for the Neighborhood Extra

On March 24, members of the Lincoln East Rotary Foundation presented the Lincoln Parks Foundation with a $50,000 contribution to the Enduring Honor Campaign for the Veterans Memorial Garden.

The Veterans Memorial Garden at Antelope Park is a place of solemn beauty that allows for peaceful reflection and serves as a permanent reminder of the sacrifices veterans made to preserve our freedom. Nearly 40 memorials are located at the garden.

In the center of the garden, visitors can view more than 5,000 honor bricks, honoring veterans, living or deceased, who have received an honorable or general discharge. The Bricks of Honor program, which began in 1992, is managed by the Lincoln Parks Foundation.

After a visual inspection revealed troubling signs of failure, a full condition assessment of the brick supports for the honor bricks was carried out in 2019. The assessment identified several areas of concern regarding deterioration and the failure of the original brick supports. Most of the problems were caused by the wear and tear of the materials over more than 30 years, weathering and vandalism. Specifically, in the WWII section, several holders were reported to be on the verge of collapse, which hastened the need for a solution.

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Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department staff members designed a new-style brick rack that would occupy a smaller footprint and allow for the placement of double-sided bricks, making the bricks more accessible to visitors. The World War II bricks were replaced and rededicated in 2021. Support from Lincoln East Rotary and other local donors will fund new honor education bricks and displays for the remaining veterans honored at the garden during World War I World, Korea, Vietnam, Peacetime, After 1980 and Family Sections.

East Rotary Club has a special affinity for Antelope Park and the Veterans Memorial Garden. For many years, members of Lincoln East Rotary have helped raise and lower flags at the Veterans Memorial Garden for holidays and special occasions. In 2018, the club funded the Doolittle Raiders Memorial. During the pandemic, East Rotary held several outdoor meetings at Antelope Park. In addition, the club has long organized Sum Fun picnics for summer recreation of young people.

For more information about the Enduring Honor campaign, contact the Lincoln Parks Foundation at 402-441-8258 or www.lincolnparks.org. For more information on Lincoln East Rotary, visit www.rotary.org.

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