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The idea for a veterans memorial park began in the hearts and minds of a group of veterans in the late 1980s. With the support of the community and a partnership between the Marion County Board of County Commissioners and the City of Ocala, these veterans realized their dream when the Ocala-Marion County Veterans Memorial Park opened in 1997.
Nestled in a quiet oasis located in the center of Ocala is a lasting memorial to veterans of all wars who lived, fought and died for the beliefs of individual freedom. With more than 5,000 bricks, 200 benches and 100 plaques, visitors can appreciate the history of our veterans from the birth of our nation forward. The park office is staffed completely by volunteers, many of whom are veterans and have first-hand recollections of the wars that were fought.
Rededicated in 2005, the park continues to be a treasure to our community, providing many opportunities to inform and educate citizens about the armed forces ad the men and women who served. It features the Medal of Honor monument, the presidential monument (honoring all presidents who served in our military), war memorabilia and picnic areas.
The park serves as a history lesson etched in brick and granite; walk along the inside of the southwest section of the wall for a sequential history of all wars, conflicts and battles beginning with the Indian Wars in 1628 and continuing to the present. The east wall presents the history of the American Civil War with plaques and battle commemorations for both the Union and Confederate armies. On the outside of the wall are plaques of veterans organizations and other groups to recognize their support of the park. Pedestals, bricks, plaques and benches - all donated by veteran/community organizations, individuals and families - offer residents an opportunity to commemorate and honor the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country.
For information about donating bricks, plaques and benches, or if you are interested in volunteering your services to this unique park, please call Veterans Services at 352-671-8422.