FLINT TWP. — For years, Flint Township has entertained the idea of constructing a memorial to honor military veterans and local first responders.
Now, that concept is about to be realized as a Heroes Plaza on the grounds of the Flint Township Police Department on Norko Drive.
To get the project finalized, Flint Township is seeking donations from the public in the form of commemorative bricks that will be installed at the memorial. Those who wish to honor a past or present United States Armed Forces member, a Flint Township police officer or a Flint Township firefighter (active or retired) can purchase a 4×8 brick ($50) or an 8×8 brick ($100) and have the name, rank and service branch of their military veteran or first responder inscribed on the brick.
Donations of $1,000 or more will be acknowledged on a brass plaque as part of the memorial.
Three granite stones will also stand as the focal point of Heroes Plaza. The largest stone, which will display logos of the six branches of the U.S. military, is projected to stand about five feet tall and weigh 4,000 pounds. The other granite stones will display logos of the Flint Township Police Department and the Flint Township Fire Department.
Flint Township Supervisor Karyn Miller, who helped to spearhead the memorial project this year along with Trustees Barb Vert and Carol Pfaff-Dahl, said that the Heroes Plaza will likely be constructed in a space near the police department’s front entrance and flagpoles.
“Every time someone comes into the police station parking lot, the memorial will remind them of those who served and sacrificed for our freedom,” Miller said. “It’s a small token of appreciation for the people who have served to keep us free.”
Currently, Flint Township officials are hoping to have the memorial finished in time for Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11. But Miller said that the foundation and concrete needs to be laid by mid-October, or the township will have to move the memorial’s completion date to next year.
Miller said that about 50 bricks have been purchased for the memorial over the last decade, and another 30 to 50 bricks are expected to be ordered ahead of the groundbreaking.
Plans for the Heroes Plaza began in 2007 when Tracey Tucker, Flint Township’s current Economic Enhancement Director, and her father, Galen Jamison, helped to form a committee and start fundraising efforts with local businesses.
“My Dad always felt that service members, especially during the Vietnam Era, needed to be honored,” Tucker said. “The memorial was one of the last things we were working on together. So it has a lot of emotional significance for me.”
After her father passed away in May of 2007, Tucker and then Flint Township Trustee Roger Powell continued fundraising, but the project eventually stalled out in the 2010s until it was revived this year by the Flint Township Board of Trustees.
In addition to individual donors, Zellar Excavating, Modern Concrete and Crannie Signs have each stepped in to support the project.
To purchase a brick for the memorial or to donate to the cause, visit www.flinttownship.org/i-want-to/hero-s-plazamemorial brick-form.
Volunteers are also needed to help lay concrete for the memorial. To volunteer, contact Tracey Tucker at email@example.com or 810-287-1059.