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Eastside businessmen working on veteran’s memorial at intersection

Eastside businessmen are working on a veteran’s memorial to be called "Freedom's Corner."

Eastside businessmen are working on a veteran’s memorial to be called "Freedom's Corner."

In celebration of the nation’s bicentennial, the East End Betterment Association erected a flag pole at the intersection of High and McCarty streets in 1976.

In tribute to all present and future soldiers, the Jefferson City Eastside Business Association will transform the triangle-shaped greenspace nearly 40 years later.

Planners led by Hank Stratman, who owns The Village Square, told the Jefferson City Council they hope Freedom’s Corner will be dedicated Nov. 11.

Donations toward the project already have allowed for the purchase of a four-feet-tall, bronze eagle, which will be set atop a pedestal at the center of a landscaped bed and artist renderings of a site plan.

“Nobody has said no; everyone’s been very generous,” Stratman said.

Another $10,000 will help the association’s volunteers finalize construction of the tribute, Stratman said. The fundraising campaign will begin Sunday.

The existing flower bed was constructed as an Eagle Scout project a few years ago.

But the association’s dedicated effort will include the entire space, Stratman said.

The relocated flag pole will be lit and set in a more respectable location.

Personalized pavers will accent the approach to the landscaped circle and benches at the sidewalk will accommodate the bus stop, which will be relocated from Vetters Lane.

The existing signs of previous site betterment efforts also will remain.

When the anticipated development of the Whitton Expressway at Clark Avenue begins, the association expects higher traffic counts passing Freedom’s Corner, Stratman said.

“It should be neat for people to see,” said Jefferson City Eastside Business Association president Donnell Rehagen. “The last few years have been an exciting time to be on the east side.”

The association of more than 100 members, includes businesses, residents and those who are simply interested in making the east end a better place to be, Rehagen said.

“There’s not a lot of activities we put our name on but we do a lot of behind-the-scenes work,” Rehagen said.

This visible project will join the association’s other project — the city welcome sign on U.S. 50 at the East McCarty interchange.

Otherwise, the association’s community involvement has included scholarships for high school seniors, supported by a barbecue Sept. 25 at McClung Park and a golf tournament Sept. 6 at Oak Hills.

Unlike the Veterans Memorial Plaza at the corner of Monroe and McCarty streets, this is a tribute, Stratman emphasized. It has been designed for passers-by to see, not for foot traffic, necessarily, he said.

“We’re re-adopting the space,” Rehagen said. “The idea of a veterans tribute seemed natural.

“This is a little bit of a statement for us.”

On the Web:

www.jcesba.org

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