EDITOR DANIEL CLIFTON
MARBLE FALLS — Things are taking shape at the Johnson Park Veterans Memorial as crews installed stone monuments and service branch flags, but officials say there’s still work to be done.
“It’s really going to be a piece of art that, I think, will honor our veterans,” said Steve Hurst of the Rotary Club of Marble Falls.
The club initiated the project a little more than a year ago when the Marble Falls City Council gave its approval for the Marley Porter design.
While the complete and final vision isn’t yet realized, the memorial includes each of the five U.S. military branch flags and a stone monument in front of all of them. Porter, who has designed veterans memorials for the Navajo Nation and the city of Lago Vista, has incorporated a flowing feel to this one.
Along with the flags and granite monuments, the plan includes a Warrior Walkway, which will connect the project with the city’s hike-and-bike trail.
Hurst said the club is also going to install pavers on the walkway so people can honor individual veterans. Initially, the club considered inscribing the names of veterans on the face of the monuments for the military branch in which they served.
“But we realized that would always be changing as people moved into the area and other veterans returned back home,” Hurst said.
Pavers allow for that personal recognition and can be added as needed.
As for the face of the monuments, Hurst couldn’t reveal what’s planned but assures people it will be something special.
One reason the Rotarians tapped Porter to help design the addition is because of his ability to use the existing features of an area as well as create something unique and special. Hurst has worked with Porter on past projects and has seen other works by the architect.
“I’ve become very open to Marley’s creativity,” Hurst said.
Of course, everything has to fit into the city’s comprehensive plan and future use of the park and area.
Plus, the Rotary Club of Marble Falls has a veterans committee that provides input and oversight for the project. Along the way, Hurst said he’s learned several things about military memorials, such as there’s a specific order for the military branch flags.
Those bits of information, as well as other input, help ensure the memorial will be something that honors veterans for years to come. Plus, Hurst said, the design is such that it will allow for future additions, including benches.
“It will be like a living memorial and will evolve as we go,” he said. “I think as people see the monument taking shape, they’ll begin to see how it will flow through the veterans area of the park and become something special.”
The Rotarians haven’t set a completion date at this time, as contractors work on it when they are able, but Hurst said things are moving forward and the public can clearly see the progress.
Go to marblefallsrotary.org for more information on the club or how to get involved.