A tribute to service

Veterans Memorial Park at Highland Springs honors men and women of the armed forces

Created date

October 24th, 2019
A bench is placed on a brick patio, which faces flower beds dotted with flags and a law of beautiful trees.

The Veterans Memorial Park at Highland Springs honors service men and women who live at the North Dallas Erickson Living community as well as their immediate family members.

Like a roll call for heroes, the Veterans Memorial Park at Highland Springs honors service men and women who live at the North Dallas community, along with their immediate family members who served in the armed forces.

The park, established in 2016, currently has 204 engraved brick pavers, each etched with a serviceman or servicewoman’s name, and most include their branch of the military, rank, and years served. A brick may also include a service logo, the Purple Heart Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, or the Army Air Medal.

“The idea for the Veterans Memorial Park grew from the collaboration of five residents, all veterans,” says Community Resource Coordinator Barbara Blachly. “Highland Springs donated the land for the park, adjacent to the pond near the entrance of the Hillcrest Clubhouse, and the first year we sold and installed 75 bricks.”

The park was dedicated on February 23, 2017. Laura Leppert, president and cofounder of Daughters of World War II, and Tudy Giodano, from Honor Flight DFW, both attended the ceremony. Glee Pitney, a Highland Springs resident who served in Korea, was the master of ceremonies. Pete Robertson, a Korean War Navy veteran and a retired Methodist minister, offered the closing prayer.

‘Collaborative effort’

Since that time, the park has grown annually as the Veterans Affairs Committee, now chaired by Pete Weyrauch, runs a brick drive each November. Bricks cost $50 each. Committee member Ron Genter leads the park project and works closely with Highland Springs staff on brick installation.

“Residents and staff visit the park often and linger on the bench by the bricks,” Pete says. “The landscaping around the park was redone and expanded earlier this year. The growth of the park has been a collaborative effort involving a number of resident and staff groups across the community.”

This year will mark the park’s third expansion with brick sales scheduled for early November. Highland Springs will host a Veteran’s Day celebration on November 11 with musical entertainment provided by the Sorta Sisters, a trio singing hits from the Andrews Sisters.

“The Veterans Memorial Park allows residents from all branches and ranks to honor military service,” says Pete, who has four generations of his own family, all U.S. Army, represented in the park. “The four Weyrauch bricks are for my grandfather [World War I], my father [World War II], myself [Vietnam], and my son [Iraq and Afghanistan].”