Florence Veterans Park – Florence, South Carolina
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On November 11, 2008 – Veterans Day – Florence dedicated its new Florence Veterans Park in a patriotic ceremony that included active and retired members from all branches of the military.
The six-acre park sits behind the Florence Civic Center on land donated for this project by the estate of R.P. Byrd a World War II veteran and former South Carolina Representative Edward L. Young.
Visitors entering the park are awed by the three-columned obelisk featuring a bronze bald eagle apex by prominent Florence-based sculptor Alex Palkovich. The six faces of the obelisk are dedicated to the six branches of the United States military.
Originally from the Ukraine, Palkovich is a life-long sculptor and a retired engineer for General Electric who resides in Florence. Since his retirement, Palkovich is committed full-time to his art. His work is successful in connecting viewers with his subjects, as seen below in the moving sculpture, Home Safe.
The Home Safe sculpture and surrounding trellises represent United States soldiers from all wars that have taken place in the twentieth century.
A tranquil feature of the park is the water wall and pool. People come to Florence Veterans Park for different reasons – solace, reflection, remembrance – and the soothing water brings a sense of peace to visitors.
Another wall, the Wall of Honor, recognizes veterans of the Pee Dee region. Bricks may be added to the wall for a fee, which goes to support the maintenance of the park.
The memorial to veterans of Desert Storm was unveiled during the original dedication ceremony in 2008. However, when conceived, the Florence Veterans Park was intended to be a living memorial, with room for more monuments to be added through the years.
A year after the park was dedicated, this monument to Purple Heart recipients was added. The Purple Heart is awarded to soldiers wounded or killed while serving their country.
In March of 2009, the South Carolina Chapter 4 of the POW/MIA advocacy group Rolling Thunder dedicated this monument to prisoners of war and those missing in action.
The organization was able to raise money and complete the black granite monument in less than one year.
One of the more recent additions to the park is a memorial to those killed in the attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. The 15-foot-tall sculpture was designed by Alex Palkovich and exhibits in its center a piece of stone salvaged from the attack site. The monument was dedicated on September 11, 2011, the ten-year anniversary of the tragedy.
The park also includes an amphitheater as well as several more monuments in honor of our veterans. There is no admission fee to enter the park, which is open during daylight hours. Florence Veterans Park is operated and maintained by the Veterans Park Committee and the City of Florence.
Florence Veterans Park Info
Address: 3300 West Radio Road, Florence, SC 29501
Florence Veterans Park Map
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