Veterans Serenity Park GO Sign

(Veterans Serenity Park photo)

The dedication of a new park in Oswego to honor veterans will be dedicated this Sunday, ahead of the Veterans Day holiday on Monday.

The official dedication and grand opening of Veterans Serenity Park along the Fox River, near Riverfront Park, is scheduled to take place on Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

Officials with the Oswegoland Park Foundation announced back in September that, in conjunction with the Veterans Serenity Park Committee, they have been securing private funding to build the park and structural work began that month. A groundbreaking was held in April.

The park will house riverfront pods dedicated to the five branches of military service. Additionally, the eternal flame will be housed in a cascading water feature.

The park will feature memorial benches, tribute bricks honoring present and past service personnel with some going back to the Civil War.

Among the happenings at that ceremony, officials say that the unveiling of a memorial bench will honor U.S. Marine Cpl. Mike Thompson of Oswego. Thompson graduated from Oswego High School in 1987 and died in 1997 at the age of 28. He had served in Desert Storm, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, serving until 1991.

Several memorial bricks were also purchased by members of the class of 1987 for members who served in the military. The names are, Sgt. Kathy Doonan, U.S. Army, Lt. Col. Tony Benitez, U.S. Army and West Point Graduate, Class of 1991, Cpl. Robert L. Graham, U.S. Marine Corps, Patrick A. Behnke, U.S. Army, Corey Johnson, FC3, U.S. Navy, John Cubit, E-4 Specialist, U.S. Army and Cpl. Mike Thompson, U.S. Marine Corps.

Officials say a total of 11 benches will be included in the park, secured by numerous sponsors. There will also be a total of 47 memorial bricks near a water feature.

Also being constructed will be a reflective butterfly garden immediately behind the entry way. The walkway from the Vietnam Wall that visited Oswego in 2017, was preserved and will be featured throughout the park.

Officials say the park is, "designed to be a lasting tribute to the men and women that have served and sacrificed for our country." They add that the park, " is a solitude sanctuary designed to let people from every walk of life seeking a quiet setting to enjoy the beauty of the river and a peaceful refuge."

Village officials say there will be some traffic restrictions. The new park, located on Adams Street, just north of the Waubonsie Creek Bridge, is accessible by car from the north. From Route 31, take either North Adams Street or North Street to North Adams Street.

Adams Street south of the Waubonsie Creek Bridge is closed due to construction. Vehicles will not be able to approach the park from the south on Adams Street.

The park is accessible by foot from both the north and south along the Fox River Trail, as well as the Veterans Memorial Parkway, which connects Main Street to Adams Street near the Oswego Public Library.

On-street parking is available on Main Street. A minivan will also be available beginning at 1:15 p.m. to take attendees with limited mobility down to the park.

Additional parking is also available in the publicly owned lot at the corner of Washington and Harrison Streets.