The Atlanta History Center is one of the most multi-faceted places to visit in the city. In May, it added an-other fascinating attraction with the official dedication of its Veterans Park at the corner of West Paces Ferry and Slaton Drive.
In a moving ceremony on Memorial Day, Governor Nathan Deal welcomed members of the armed ser-vices and local veterans from as far back as World War II. The park was funded by a grant from the Home Depot Foundation and is dedicated “to honor all those who have served and continue to serve the United States of America protecting freedom around the world.” In an impressive sacred soil ceremony, earth from battlefields from the American Revolution to Afghanistan was symbolically scattered on the new park grounds in a particularly moving part of the activities.
The park itself is beautifully designed by landscape architect Mark Cain with low brick walls and plenty of fountains along the street sides. The wide walks are adorned by a flagpole and a polished granite carving of the Great Seal of the United States. The seals of the Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps are also embedded in the sidewalks.
Perhaps best of all, there are several markers with quotations from local veterans about their service and what it meant to them. The quotes are taken from the oral histories housed in the AHC archives. You can even scan the markers with your smart phone and view the veterans speaking right there in the park. Of course, you can also visit the Kenan Research Center and read full transcripts of the each veteran’s service experiences — an extensive collection. See for information about contributing to this ongoing project. What better way to honor our nation on its birthday this month than a visit to this new park?
The Atlanta History Center is located at 130 West Paces Ferry Road. There is free parking in a small deck just a few steps from the new park. You can’t miss the park itself at the corner of Slaton and West Paces Ferry or the invitingly shaded picnic area under the trees. For more information or to plan a visit, call 404-814-4000 or see www.atlantahistorycenter.com.