04/13/04 — Money being raised for airmen memorial

View Archive

Money being raised for airmen memorial

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on April 13, 2004 1:57 PM

Airmen stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base who lost their lives in battle will be memorialized in a new addition to Heritage Park.

Construction of a memorial plaza should be completed in late August. It will be in front of the headquarters building on base and will contain plaques showcasing the wing's history and its airmen who fought to the end for their country.

The centerpiece of the plaza will be a fountain surrounded by benches and a walkway that will serve as a place of reflection. Four, bronze F-15E Strike Eagle replicas flying in a missing-man formation will emerge from the middle of the fountain.

Jimmie Edmundson, chairman of the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce's Military Affairs Committee, met with his committee several weeks ago and it decided to help raise the money for the replicas.

The committee has around 90 members and many of them have already donated money. In the first few days, they were able to raise $1,200. The replicas will cost a total of $10,000 and they will be asking businesses and individuals throughout the week to donate money, he said.

They hope to have the money raised by the end of this week and a dedication ceremony for the fountain is expected in late June. The fountain's construction began in March.

He said the overall goal of the committee is to support the Air Force personnel and their families at Seymour Johnson. Anyone who would like to help the committee pay for the replicas can make a check payable to the Military Affairs Committee and send it to the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce at 308 N. William St., Goldsboro, N.C., 27530. For more information, call Edmundson at 731-5804.

The memorial plaza is one of several new additions to Heritage Park, which is on Wright Brothers Drive, the main road on base. An F-100 Super Sabre static display was unveiled in March. It is across from the F-4C Phantom II and beside the base theater. The base also has a static display of an F-103 Thunderchief and an F-15E and will have an F-86 display in the future.

Other ongoing projects on base include construction of a new fire and rescue station, more base housing and parking lot upgrades. Many of the projects deal with increasing security in and around the base and continuing to improve the quality of life for personnel.