ENNIS – Scores of residents were on hand Tuesday, Aug. 16, for ribbon cutting ceremonies for the new Ennis Veterans Memorial Park, located on Ennis Parkway.

Mayor Russell Thomas served as the master of ceremonies, introducing program personalities and giving a description of the new facility.

“We are delighted today to dedicate this very special place where kids can come and play,” the mayor said. “This property was the location of a former educational facility that, after demolition, the city saw an opportunity to utilize it as a park. We made a proposal to the school district and made the purchase using proceeds from the sale of the old hospital and funds that were available through the Economic Development Corporation.”

He noted that after engineering studies were done, the land was purchased for $76,000. The 19.1-acre park as built contains sports fields, a playground and concession area. Future plans call for a veterans memorial.

U.S. Congressman Joe Barton was also on hand to make comments.

“I’m honored to be a small part of this ceremony today,” the congressman said. “The city of Ennis and the school district have worked together to make this a reality. And, in the near future, it will be a living memorial to all veterans. It’s just as important to honor them today as it was 50 or 60 years ago.”

The Ennis Veterans Memorial Committee cited several ways the public can help build the memorial:

• Purchasing personalized, engraved brick pavers for your veteran.

• Purchasing a personalized, granite bench for your veteran.

• Purchasing or donating the various elements of the memorial such as trees, lights and flagpoles.

• Participating in and donating to committee-sponsored fundraisers.

Tax-deductible monetary contributions toward the memorial can be sent to Ennis Veterans Memorial Committee, P.O. Box 8228, Ennis, TX 75120.

Contact Paul at paul.gauntt@wninews.com or 469-517-1450.