Council voted 5-2 at Monday’s city council meeting to approve the location. The approval is only for the location of the memorial. No decisions about funding or design have been made. Councilmen who voted in opposition thought the park was not the ideal setting for a veterans memorial.
“There are a lot of locations where this probably could be located that would give our veterans a daily visibility to the public just driving through Alpharetta,” Councilman Jim Gilvin said.
Gilvin said the memorial in the park may only see visitors twice a year “for photo ops.”
“It’ll be great for a couple ceremonies and events,” he said.
Gilvin said one good location would be a city-owned piece of property near Westside Parkway, adding that the city could even rename the road Veterans Memorial Parkway.
“It’d be a nice tribute if people could actually see it as they drive by,” he said. “At least a daily commuter would think a minute about our veterans and the sacrifices they made.”
Councilman D.C. Aiken agreed, saying “If we’re going to do this, let’s do it where people can see it.”
But the other five councilmen were set on the location in the park. It will be near a stream and the small event stage being built.
“I think this park is going to see a good amount of use. Between the library there and city hall there, I think people are really craving passive space. This is going to be a good place to walk,” Mayor David Belle Isle said.
“In my opinion, it’s more meaningful to see it in that setting than as you’re bumper to bumper going down Old Milton Parkway.”
Councilman Donald Mitchell said the memorial will “honor all veterans from all wars who have ever served from the city of Alpharetta.”
Mitchell said the committee is trying to raise about $100,000 through private funding for the memorial. But, he said, a location must be selected before fundraising can be done and before veterans organizations in the city can be consulted.