Cary News

Morrisville considers plans for a veterans memorial

A veterans memorial in Morrisville could feature pillars in honor of the branches of the military.
A veterans memorial in Morrisville could feature pillars in honor of the branches of the military. TOWN OF MORRISVILLE

After months of planning, the town might soon build a veterans memorial.

Morrisville leaders asked the town’s parks, recreation and cultural advisory committee a year ago to study possible sites and designs for a city-owned veterans memorial.

The study group, made up of half a dozen residents, decided the best site would be next to the Indian Creek Greenway and Trailhead, located on Town Hall Drive across from the fire station.

They recently presented their findings to the Morrisville Town Council and are hoping to get the ball rolling soon.

“We have a lot of support for this project moving forward, and so we hope our recommendation will be favorable with you,” said Nicole Tulve, the group’s leader.

Mayor Mark Stohlman put off an immediate vote, saying the council needed more time to think about the plan.

“We really don’t make decisions (when) we see something for the first time,” Stohlman said.

Stohlman and other town leaders were generally enthusiastic about the plan, but there are several unanswered questions, including cost and other location options.

If and when the town council approves the idea, the town’s staff will start working on official designs and cost estimates.

Mike Snyder, a veteran who served on the study group, said they suggested the Town Hall Drive site because of its central location, accessibility and visibility. The site is about three-quarters of an acre and already has restrooms and parking, which other potential sites lack.

The committee envisions a memorial suited for pensive remembrance. It would have a brick walkway, with benches and a fountain in the front and the memorial in the back.

“We don’t want this to be overwhelming,” Snyder said. “Morrisville’s a small town. It’s not like Cary. We don’t need a huge park like they have over there.”

Last spring, Cary dedicated a 13-acre veterans park near North Harrison Avenue and Cary Parkway.

In Morrisville, a plaza at the memorial could have a piece of military equipment, such as a Civil War cannon. Snyder said the group is tracking down several options.

Morrisville is the site of one of the last skirmishes of the Civil War, which will mark its 150th anniversary next year.

As for the memorial itself, the committee presented two possible designs.

One is a curved wall with inscriptions and emblems honoring each branch of the military.

The other is six pillars, each with the insignia of one service branch – the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and National Guard.

In the back there would be an American flag, a North Carolina flag and a POW/MIA flag that would be replaced by an individual service’s flag on its “birthday,” Snyder said.

People could buy engraved bricks to honor veterans, and the money raised would help maintain the memorial.

“This is, I think, a perfect location,” said Mayor Pro Tem Liz Johnson. “And the designs are gorgeous.”