As Americans recognize the men and women who serve our country Memorial Day, a Fort Dodge park serves as a reminder every day of the year.
A fallen Iowa soldier was the inspiration for the park’s renovation.
Terry Mankey got the idea to build a veterans park in J.J. Banell’s honor after he died in Iraq in 2007. He brought the idea to the city council and crews started working on the Veterans Memorial Park in 2008.
“We took an under utilized area of the park and developed what you see today. We’ve got a paved sidewalk about a quarter mile long and we’re adding another 500 foot to that very soon,” explained Mankey.
Crews have planted nearly three-hundred trees in honor of lost soldiers.
More than eight-hundred people donated to the project and raised more than $6,000.