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  • Last modified 18 days ago (May 31, 2018)

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Small town embodies larger-than-life patriotism

Staff writer

Florence may be small, but it exhibits patriotism larger than life with its Veterans Memorial Park, which could evoke a lump in the throat of any veteran.

A brightly colored mural, painted by Barbara Chavez, spans as a backdrop to the park, and a quiet family picnic.

A shelter house offers a break from weather with a walkway of memorial bricks in front. The bricks have names of local veterans and have been purchased by family members to honor loved ones, past and present.

The mural sports a vibrant American flag with a stoic American eagle looking down on the park.

Scott Zogelman, Florence Pride committee chairman, said the mural was initiated by building owner, Rick Turner, was done in response to events of 9/11, and has filled space where a hotel once stood.

“There had been a large three- story hotel building that was torn down, leaving an exposed wall,” he said. “It needed to be painted and sealed, and that was his way to making it look nice.”

Anybody can reserve the park for family picnics by calling Florence City Hall, and it frequently is used over Labor Day weekend.

Veteran’s Memorial Park also observes Memorial Day in a special way.

A local American Legion chapter removes picnic tables, and replaces them with a caisson, a two-wheeled cart designed to carry ammunition, but also used to bear veterans’ caskets draped with American flags.

The Pride committee has worked hard to maintain the park, Zogelman said. Plans include planting new trees, replacing ones that were affected by storms.

Last modified May 31, 2018

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