By Devese Ursery
Troy residents lined Edwardsville Road on Monday July 4, from the I-55 exit past Riggin Road, not only to celebrate Independence Day, but the dedication of a new field.
On a humid summer evening, at approximately 8:30 p.m., the city of Troy dedicated a fresh memorial in remembrance of First Responders and military veterans of the United States Armed Forces. Committee Chair and driving force of the new Field of Honor Timothy Greenfield led in an opening prayer as flags flew in perfect formation. Attendees of the ceremony stood in attention with their hands over their hearts as the National Anthem played softly.
“The people of Troy supported this project fantastically through donations… ,” said Greenfield. “The city, the township, the Park District, everybody jumped on board and this is the result of it, what you see here, hundreds of people here celebrating the opening of the Field of Honor and Service.”
Greenfield is a U.S. Army Veteran of the Vietnam War and is the chief initiator of the Field of Honor and Service project. His efforts and dedication to this project is something that he wanted the community to be proud of for anyone visiting, according to Tracy Plagemann finance committee for the Field of Honor project.
“This project is a result of his love for the community and what it stands for,” said Plagemann.
In January of 2019, a committee was formed to look at the current Veterans Memorial and produce some feasible solutions. A project to reimagine, redesign, relocate, and include First Responders. The Committee chose a new design and started the task of bringing it to fruition. Along the way other members of the community suggested ideas that were also incorporated. There has been a section dedicated to receivers of the Purple Heart honoring America’s Combat Wounded. Another section that was added was the POW/MIA section, suggested by a former Prisoner of War to show that they have not been forgotten; and another community member talked about the overall number of individuals who given their lives for others and the idea of the Stairway to Heaven section seemed to fit with the concept of the last mission.
The old memorial had to be replaced and relocated because of deterioration and environmental concerns.
“I would like to thank everybody in the community,” said Greenfield. “The reason it was held on the Fourth of July, the celebration of our nation’s birthday, is because it was a celebration of everybody in this community, and it shows that the United States, as a whole, can still pull together tightly and build something like this that honors everybody.”
According to Greenfield, there will be a Memorial Day service and Veteran’s Day service, and possibly a 9-1-1 Memorial service out here in Tri-Township Park every year.