Jerry J. Herrmann

Special to the Grove Sun

Ottawa County may have its own Veterans Memorial Garden by Veterans Day 2011.

Elmer Enyart of Seneca, who is a native of Wyandotte, said he had thought about creating one for years. However, when the South Grand Lake Lions Club announced it was breaking ground Sept. 11 for a Veterans Honor Plaza in Langley it once again got him to thinking about building one in Wyandotte.

Enyart said he is negotiating with the Wyandotte Nation to build one on a one-half to three-quarters of a block square memorial garden west of the Wyandotte Casino right on U.S. 60. The site is still fluid, he said.

Enyart visualizes having a sidewalk around the garden so people can view it from all angles and enjoy all parts of it.

He also sees a walkway into the area near the center of the memorial garden with a four-to-five-foot statue of a fallen soldier with benches surrounding it on two sides so people can walk through the park and enjoy the statue.

Beyond the statue, Enyart plans to have a big flagpole to hold a giant flag 60 feet to 70 feet in the air. “This flag will be lighted so people can enjoy it during the day and night,” he said.

Beyond this flagpole, he envisions smaller flagpoles for each service. And to the north of the big flagpole, Enyart said he wants to build his version of “The Wall.” He wants to have names of county residents who have served in World War II and the wars since. How many names he gets will determine how long “The Wall” is in Wyandotte’s Veterans Memorial Garden.

He wants a water fountain in the northwest corner of the park, and a small amphitheater in the southwest corner.

Enyart said initial estimates put the cost of the memorial garden at $175,000-$200,000.

Anyone interested in donating to the Wyandotte Veterans Memorial Garden can mail donations to Elmer Enyart, 1710 Olive St., Seneca, Mo. 64865 or call him at 417-776-4779.