On November 28, 2001 the American Legion Olson-Grinde Memorial Post 348 requested the Village of DeForest Park, Recreation and Natural Resources Committee rename “Market Square Park”, “Veteran’s Memorial Park”. The committee quickly and unanimously voted in favor of the name change. And so it began…
Working with the complete support of the Village of DeForest leadership team and its staff, an association which continues to this day, plans quickly moved forward to make other visibly significant enhancements to the park. American Legion Post 348 first commissioned the development of a new “Veterans Memorial Park” sign for the entrance. This sign was donated to the Village at a dedication ceremony held on Veterans Day 2002. Shortly thereafter installation of the park sign was completed on December 14, 2002 by one representative each of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars of the US Post 8483. This installation became the first visible symbol of what was to come.
The donation of a 25' flagpole by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the US Post 8483, an American flag donated by the Ladies Auxiliary to the VFW, Post 8483, and a POW/MIA Flag donated by the Wisconsin Vietnam Veterans, Chapter 5 were subsequent visible signs the development of the park was moving forward. The inaugural flag raising ceremony took place on May 31, 2004 in observance of Memorial Day and a Presidential memorandum in support of the National Moment of Remembrance. There remains a long road ahead to achieve the comprehensive design of veteran’s memorial park. While we remain grateful for the continued contributions of our American Legion Post and community partners, we also realize we owe a debt of gratitude to our veterans. One simple means to forever include your thankfulness is a memorial endowment in honor of a veteran you wish to remember.
In November 2004 the DeForest Veterans Memorial Foundation, Inc. was formed and registered as a non-profit organization 501(c)(3). The organization’s goal purpose was to: ”Promote Americanism through education in patriotism and constructive service to the community in which we live. Additionally we want to ensure the proper recognition and remembrance of our American Veterans through construction of appropriate memorials, monuments ...”
The DeForest Veteran’s Memorial Foundation Board of Directors is comprised of a very diverse and dedicated group of citizens and veterans alike. Teaming with Village leadership, area veteran’s service organizations, community businesses and private individuals, the Foundation’s commitment to our community, our future, and success clearly lights the lamp to lead the way, helping make our dream a reality.
Veteran’s Memorial Park will be a place of contemplation, education, reflection and remembrance. It will not interfere with the ever-present beauty of the environment, or the functionality of the park. In meeting this objective we meet the civic, cultural, education and environmental needs of our community for today and tomorrow. The DeForest Veterans Memorial Foundation invites you, your family and friends to join us in recognizing and remembering our veterans - America's heroes, while we educate America’s future – our children.