A brand new veterans monument featuring the names of nearly 600 veterans was recently unveiled at Presbyterian Village North (PVN), a senior living community in Dallas. The event drew approximately 200 people to Dallas for the Veterans Memorial Dedication ceremony at PVN (8600 Skyline Drive). The brand new memorial features a seven-foot bronze eagle situated in a brick courtyard with benches and is located in a prominent spot at the entrance to the senior living community. The bricks feature the names and branches of existing residents who are veterans, as well as veterans who lived in the community over the past 36 years. Currently, there are 550 names listed, and the community will add more on an ongoing basis as more veterans move in every month. There are 110 veterans living at PVN right now. Of these, there are some who fought in the Battle of the Bulge, a gentleman who flew over the USS Missouri as the peace treaty was being signed during WWII and a gentleman who was in a horse-drawn artillery unit, to name a few. The current veterans group at PVN initiated this project in conjunction with Dr. John Gremmels, major gift officer at the Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation. Gremmels was instrumental in getting the project initiated and seeing it through to its completion.
“The community is honored to recognize those who were willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom America enjoys today,” said Gremmels. “There were so many that were instrumental in breathing life into this monument. Robert Ekblad, a veteran and resident of PVN is the architect who designed the monument. Jules Moigniez, a Frenchman who lived in the late 1800s, created the original statue that inspired ours. Linbeck Construction and some of their partners and affiliates provided much of the labor pro bono and donated materials for the project as well. Other funding was provided by private donations, the Presbyterian Village North Foundation and the Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation. We made sure veterans were included every step of the way as well. There will be several veterans and their families in attendance at this meaningful event, and we are honored to hold this ceremony to recognize their service and their sacrifice, as well as the service and sacrifices made by loved ones.”
There was a presentation of colors, and Jennifer Nickerson sang the national anthem. Remarks throughout the ceremony were made by Tim Mallad, CEO of Presbyterian Communities and Services; Dr. John Gremmels, major gift officer for Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation; “Lucky” Luckadoo, a PVN resident and veteran of WWII; and Brent Ashby, chaplain at PVN. A reception with refreshments and live entertainment followed the ceremony. The event was live streamed into the PVN auditorium as well.
“There is something about sacrifice, one’s willingness to give up safety, comfort or even life itself that evokes deep emotions of appreciation and gratitude from our hearts” said Ron Kelly, executive director of Presbyterian Village North. “I feel it every day, and I hope others remember and feel it when they look at this veterans memorial monument. This is Presbyterian Village North’s way of extending a thank you to our veterans for protecting our country. Because of their service, we have families to love, cherish, and for whom we may sacrifice. We are privileged to honor our community’s veterans, those whose memories we hold dear and those who are still living and with us today. We also want to thank everyone who contributed to the creation of this astounding monument.”
Presbyterian Communities and Services is pleased to announce plans for another monument at the T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center that will honor the “Bloody Hundred.” It will be the first monument built to commemorate their service. In addition, the Blue Star Memorial Marker is at the T. Boone Pickens Hospice and Palliative Care Center. The Air Force will do a flyover on October 13 for the Blue Star Memorial Marker.