B y Jaime Thomas
Granville will thank a group of men who took up an important idea many decades ago, after the Veterans Day parade on Sunday, Nov. 11, which starts at 1 p.m. on Main Street.
The village will unveil a new memorial during a ceremony to recognize the 11 members of the Veterans Park Committee, which established the spot as a park.
“It could’ve become a lot of things, and it was their recommendation to the board that it become a public space to recognize veterans,” said Village Clerk Rick Roberts.
Roberts said the original committee was formed by the village board after the old elementary school was torn down. The men were members of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Lion’s Club and other World War II veterans.
George Macura, one of the original committee members, said the veterans didn’t want the school to be destroyed in the first place, but they found a use for the space.
“We didn’t have a park, and they tore down the building, and as veterans we thought we should have a park, and most people agreed,” Macura said. It took the men three years of work to make the park materialize because of such factors as waiting on legislation in Albany, Macura added.
Roberts credits their persistence.
“It was their vision that the bandstand be created and there be trees, etc. The park brings people together; I think this memorial is an appropriate way to recognize the people that had that vision,” Roberts said.
He said the park is a public gathering place where there are concerts, socializing and marriages at the bandstand. Locals recently came to him and said there had never been anything done for the men who originally formed the park. He thought it was a great idea, and the village decided that Veterans Day would be the right time for a ceremony.
“You sit in this chair long enough, and sometimes you have to look back at the people who had the vision to look ahead and say ‘This is something that’ll serve the community best.’ They saw the potential that was there,” Roberts said.
Macura is glad the original committee is finally being recognized.
“I’m all for it. It should’ve been done a long time ago; we’ve been telling them to do something about it for a while,” Macura said. “I think this regime today knows it should be done.”
Roberts said in Granville ties run deep to local veterans and pointed out the large number of men who served during World War II.
“There are over 700 names on the school World War II monument — that’s impressive for such a small town,” he said.
Roberts is expecting between 400 and 500 people to attend the ceremony. The surviving members of the original committee will be there, as well as member Edward Fish’s son, who will give a speech.