Two years ago WWII veteran Arthur Rickey had an idea to do something to honor all of our nation’s military. He wanted to take a small part of land along Verplanck’s waterfront into a Veterans Memorial Park, which would serve as a memorial for all veterans, alive and passed, who have served the United States.
Rickey saw the plot of land, located between Steamboat Dock and the former Martin Property, now owned by the Town of Cortlandt, as the perfect spot for the park because it is a beautiful piece of land with a small beach area on the Hudson River.
“The land represents those who serve on land. The river represents those who served on water. The sky represents the air force and the beach represents those who waited on shore for enemy fire,” said 88-year-old Rickey, who has lived in Verplank for the last 87 years.
“In the military, one defense depends on the other," he said.
Rickey, a member of the William J. Boyle American Legion Post 1030, took his idea to the Cortlandt Town Board two years ago. The board was supportive and passed a resolution to make it happen. On July 31, town officials and veterans will gather for Veterans Memorial ceremony.
“The Town Board and I are very pleased that we were able to fund and construct this beautiful and very important Veteran’s Memorial Park,” said Town Superivsor Linda Puglisi. “It is located on town owned land next to the Hudson River. It pays tribute to all of the men and women who have defended our country and served in our military in all branches of service over the years.”
Rickey emphasizes that the park is truly for all those who have served “...whether it was for one day, or for a career, in combat or non-combat. It is something we need,” he said.
The park includes a brick pathway that leads towards the water, a stone monument and flag pole and plaque. The Town will also build an aat the park on the land closer to the mobile home park on the former Martin property.
Check out the park and tell us what you think.
Update from Town of Cortlandt: The Veteran's Memorial Grand Opening Ceremony, originally scheduled for 3 p.m. July 20, has been postponed due to inclement weather. The ceremony has been rescheduled for Tuesday, July 31st at 3 p.m. and will be held at the Cortlandt Waterfront Park in Verplanck at the Veteran's Memorial.