It seemed like a mission impossible, but Richard A. Lester believed it could be done.
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11 a.m.-4 p.m. May 25. $16.50, $13 seniors 65 and up and students 13-18, $11 ages 4-12.
Veterans Park dedication
5 p.m. May 27. Free.
Atlanta History Center, 130 W. Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta. 404-814-4000, www.atlantahistorycenter.com.
WEEKEND EVENTS SHOWCASE VETERANS PARK EXPANSION
The Atlanta History Center’s newly redone Veterans Park will be dedicated on Memorial Day, but guests at the annual Military Timeline family program on May 25 can also sneak a peek from the sidewalk at West Paces Ferry Road and Slaton Drive.
Those attending either public event will find a significantly enhanced and expanded park, replacing the one built around a single Vietnam memorial marker that opened in 2000 near that busy intersection.
Now commanding an acre (up from a quarter-acre), the park features the major addition of six interactive information panels atop granite pedestals. With QR codes, compatible with any smartphone, visitors can access videotaped stories of Atlanta military heroes from various conflicts.
Also new in the park, 6-foot-diameter seals of Elberton granite representing each of the five military branches — Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard — are embedded, as is an 8-foot U.S. seal.
Encouraging its use as a reflective place and new green spot in Buckhead, Veterans Park now also boasts a water feature that separates the newly landscaped grounds from the loud street. Picnic tables encourage visitors to visit for lunch.
Designed by Jacobs Engineering Group senior landscape architect Mack Cain (himself a Marine veteran), the park is “the most visible manifestation of what we’re trying to do as an organization,” Atlanta History Center President and CEO Sheffield Hale said. “That is to open ourselves to the public in every way we can.”
A new, wide landscaped walkway now links the park to the entrance of the Atlanta History Museum, where a security fence was removed last year to encourage that notion of openness.
The Military Timeline event, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. May 25, offers the opportunity to speak with veterans who share personal stories and memorabilia from wartime, interact with living history interpreters representing various wars, watch a firing demonstration, encounter a Civil War encampment, view a display of military vehicles and more.
FREE FOR ACTIVE, RETIRED MILITARY
As a Blue Star Museum, the Atlanta History Center offers free admission to active-duty military personnel and up to five additional family members from Memorial Day (May 27) through Labor Day (Sept. 2). Retired military receive free admission for up to two adults.