Honoring Heritage: Revitalizing Memorial Park

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Caleb Nunez

Following the decommissioning of the static display aircraft at Memorial Park on MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, efforts to sustainably expand and revitalize the park into a communal and historical destination will begin.

This new Memorial Park will serve as a focal point for historical appreciation, representing MacDill’s commitment to memorializing our predecessors and keeping heritage alive.

“The vision for this park carries forward past efforts to retell the Air Force story,” said Col. April Vogel, the 6th Air Mobility Wing commander. “Educated by the stories of their forbearers, today’s Airmen will impact tomorrow’s Air Force.”

The proposed design includes eight aircraft models of the most impactful aircraft flown at MacDill accompanied by bollard plaques depicting their historical significance, statuary memorials, interpretative panels and a covered pavilion with amphitheater seating to create a gathering space.

“The park is envisioned to be a destination for air power education and with it, Airman development,” said Stephen Ove, the 6th Air Mobility Wing base historian. “It will be far more representative of the many units, aircraft, and Airmen that have called MacDill home since 1941.”

The construction of the new park will be divided into three projected phases. Phase one will include the construction of new sidewalk trails and the installation of the aircraft models and bollard plaques. Phases two and three will see the construction of the covered pavilion, along with the amphitheater.

“The displays will be constructed out of survivable, weatherproof material, which will ensure low-maintenance sustainability in a highly corrosive environment,” said Ove. “These displays, when paired with markers at historic buildings on base, will allow for the opportunity of self-guided tours for base personnel, retirees and their families.”

While plans are being refined, the estimated date of completion is Summer of 2018.