New Veterans Park in Buckhead streams vets' oral histories onto visitors' smart phones

5:22 AM, May 28, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Veterans Park

A visitor points to the name of someone who died during the Vietnam War, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington DC

ATLANTA -- A ceremony to dedicate Veterans Park in Atlanta took place Memorial Day.

Hundreds turned out for the ceremony at the new one-acre park at the entrance to the Atlanta History Center. It is located at the corner of West Paces Ferry Road and Slaton Drive.

The event was celebrated as participants remembered not only U.S. troops killed in action, but also those who fought on the front lines for America and survived.

The Home Depot gave the center a half-million dollars to fund the creation of the park.  Governor Nathan Deal was among the dignitaries speaking at the event.

The park was constructed using "sacred soil" from battlefields where U.S. service members fought and died. 

"We have collections of sand, dirt and fragments from major American battlefields, both from home and abroad, going back to the Revolutionary War all the way through Iraq and Afghanistan," Jason McQuigg of the Atlanta History Center said.

At the dedication ceremony, additional samples of the battlefields' soil were mixed in an upside-down soldier's helmet, one worn during the invasion of France on D-Day.  The sacred soil was then scattered across the park's grounds as a symbolic completion of the construction.

11Alive got a sneak peak on Monday of the kiosks featured throughout the park. Using an Apple or Android smartphone or tablet, one can hear first-person accounts from veterans who served.

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