New lighting at Veterans Memorial Park in downtown Pensacola is being tested, ahead of a formal ceremony scheduled for later this month.
The new lights – which illuminate Wall South at the park are the first to be installed since before Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
“It’s a moving experience to see those lights catch the names on the wall,” said Jack Brown, President of the Veterans Memorial Park Foundation which oversees operations at the park. “Because when they shine vertically up the Wall they don’t illuminate the black marble, they illuminate the engraving.”
The new, LED lamps were purchased with part of a $140,000 grant from BP oil spill money, after the old lighting system succumbed to the elements. The new lighting had to be designed and built from scratch, because of the uniqueness of the Wall South – which is a half-size version of the Vietnam Memorial in Washington.
The new lights are among the projects in an overall park makeover, using a total of $360,000 in BP money. Maintenance and some extra landscaping are also on the to-do list, along with replacing the old kiosk and its 1992 computer system.
The last monument to go up at Veterans Park was in 2012 to honor Marine Corps Aviation. The next will honor those who fought in the American Revolution. Jack Brown says the project has been green-lighted by the Mayor’s Office and now heads to the City Council, and is expected to be finished in time for Memorial Day. Another monument in the works pays homage to modern-day troops, who are fighting the global war on terror.
More information on upcoming events at Veterans Memorial Park can be found at www.pensacolawallsouth.org.