Many communities have beloved areas that can only be described as sacred spaces.
Massena has one such site. It has hosted countless events both public and private.
But what makes it so special is that it honors those who have served our country in uniform. The annual ceremony commemorating Memorial Day in the village is held there.
Veterans Memorial Park is a magnificent green space featuring a gazebo and several war monuments. People use the park to hold weddings and enjoy concerts. Located on the banks of Grasse River, its beauty cannot be overestimated.
However, the park has structural problems that need to be addressed. Village officials have not yet been able to secure any grants to help with repair work, so they are asking members of the public to donate money toward the project.
“Mayor Gregory M. Paquin said Veterans Memorial Park has started to show ‘signs of some significant failures’ over the past 20 years. Specifically, he said, he’s concerned that the retaining walls are failing, and drainage has become ‘a significant issue,’” according to a story published April 12 by the Watertown Daily Times. “Village officials have started seeking prices and donations from vendors for materials. The village will provide the labor for the anticipated project.”
Paquin said that authorities have not been successful in securing grant funding to help pay for the improvements. So they’re looking to residents, businesses and organizations to contribute to this endeavor.
“The village of Massena has discussed the proposed project with various engineers and determined the existing walls need to be removed, additional draining needs to be installed and soil replaced prior to installing new walls,” Paquin said in the story. “The additional drainage, along with a larger precast retaining walls system, will prevent the new system from failing. The village has sought grant funding to cover the costs of this particular project with no success. As a result, the village is seeking funding donations from organizations, businesses, community members or anyone wishing to assist in ensuring the longevity of the park.”
This community resource is one that residents should be proud of and eager to support.
“Mr. Paquin said the park has a storied history. A group called the Veterans Memorial Park Committee joined with a number of organizations, businesses, community members, volunteers and others about 20 years ago to finish the park to make it what it is today.”
The park has become an essential meeting place for those who call Massena home.
“The Veterans Memorial Park is a profound site in our community, a place to honor, reflect and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country and its citizens as well as to honor those who serve today,” Paquin said.
People wishing to contribute to the project may call Department of Public Works Superintendent Marty G. Miller at 315-769-6823 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The good news is that word is spreading that the village needs help on this — and people are responding. In a story published Friday by North Country Public Radio, Miller described an encounter he had with one resident while in the park Thursday. The man offered him money to make the improvements.
“He comes up to me and he says, ‘I wanna give money for this,’” Miller said in the NCPR article. “He said, ‘It needs to be done.’”
Yes, it does need to be done. And we’re confident that many others will follow this resident’s example and donate to the project as well.
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