Dedication Ceremony For Veterans Memorial Park To Be Held In Watford City, July 15
July 12, 2023 | View PDF
A ten-year project that started out on a napkin between an architect and engineer has come to fruition; a dedication ceremony for the Veterans Memorial Park, Watford City, will be held Saturday, July 15 at 4 p.m. CT.
"Before we started (the project) we had 100 flag poles which were made out of oilfield pipe, five crosses to represent each branch of the military, and a propane powered Eternal Flame, which was pretty costly," explained retired Navy veteran and recently retired McKenzie veteran service officer Jerry Samuelson.
The improvements to the park include new flag poles, a new LED powered Eternal Flame made by Samuelson's nephew, new concrete work and sidewalks, and granite memorials with the names of over 2,200 Veterans from McKenzie County, listed by the decade they served.
"There are the names of 60 veterans who were killed in action or died while in service from WWI to Vietnam listed; of the 2,200+ names, 800 are WWII veterans. Can you imagine having 800 people gone from your community? The memorial shows the contributions McKenzie County has given to this country since WWI," said Samuelson.
The $3.5 million project was made possible by donations from individuals, businesses and organizations. Garrison Diversion Project, City of Watford City, McKenzie County, the Watford City Rough Rider Fund, the American Legion of Charitable Gaming, and former Watford City mayor and former North Dakota Lieutenant Governor Brent Sanford, all contributed $100,000 to the cause. In fact, there may be a phase three as the American Legion has also donated property next to the park.
"The donations have been unbelievable; the community has been very giving. In fact, there was a young man who donated $50 and the significance of that is his great-grandfather, two grandfathers, great uncle, uncles and his dad all served," Samuelson commented.
Additionally, The American Bombshells will be performing following the speakers at the dedication ceremony. Samuelson saw the patriotic performers at a National Legion Convention and suggested they would be great entertainment for the event.
The American Bombshells travel the world uplifting and inspiring troops, wounded warriors and veterans with their self-described modern-day twist on the Andrews Sisters. The all-American performance is sure to be the perfect way to celebrate the ten-year accomplishment!