The Cook family, newcomers to Fayetteville learning about history at Fayetteville Memorial park.
Recently, my wife and I spent the day meandering around downtown Fayetteville talking to shopkeepers and peering into a variety of quaint shops. It appeared that we were just another couple of shoppers, but we had ulterior motives; we were looking for a place to begin creating virtual tours. We found what we were looking for just as we were leaving the downtown via Hay Street. There it was, Freedom Memorial Park standing proud with its American flag reaching high into the skyline. Moments later, the excitement of finding a new subject subsided as we walked across that grassy field. The excitement was replaced by a somber sense of pride when we came close enough to see that they had listed the names of the fallen service members from Fayetteville and the surrounding area. It wasn’t long before I realized that we had a responsibility to cover this site first.
When we returned to photograph the park, we met Kevin Cook and his two sons. They were browsing through the monuments. Eventually, they began posing for pictures around the park and asked to have their picture taken. Just looking at the pride they exuded while taking pictures, it was clear that Freedom Memorial Park was a memorable and important experience for them. Kevin is a contractor from Charlotte, NC working at Fort Bragg on a temporary basis. Before coming, he was told to avoid Hay Street, but what he found on Hay Street was anything but something to be avoided. It has been many years since our downtown was in a state of decay. Freedom Memorial Park helped dispel this myth and, the Cooks were looking forward to seeing the Airborne Operations Museum. Driving or moving to Fayetteville used to be the only way to gather these experiences. Fayetteville Virtual Tours intends to change this. So come with us on a virtual tour of Freedom Memorial Park and see Fayetteville first hand. Even if you are a Fayetteville native or local to the area, FvT will show you the places you love in a whole new light.
What is Freedom Memorial Park? The park features monuments for all local US Service Members, but there is a particular focus on the service members that paid the ultimate price for our country during World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. This is done by listing the names and hometowns of the service members that died or went missing while defending our home.
Who created Freedom Memorial park? The Cumberland County Community Foundation, a Fayetteville based charity (philanthropy) group created it. Visit their site here. http://www.cumberlandcf.org/ The Park is directly maintained by the “FMP Steering Committee”. No, this isn’t a government project; it’s a project funded by the people of the local community.
How can I support the Freedom Memorial Park? You can lend your support Financially or otherwise by contacting the FMP Steering Committee. They encourage the public to contribute by selling “pavers” ,which are engraved granite stones used to recognize loved ones or supporters of the park. To purchase a paver and support the park, go to http://www.freedommemorialpark.com/. To become a supporter of the park through the Cumberland County Community Foundation, go to http://www.cumberlandcf.org/donor_info.php.
Visiting Fayetteville? Get Visitors Information from FACVBClick here to see the tour
Published 30 October 09