The stretch of Coliseum Boulevard near Memorial Coliseum will now be known as the Veterans National Memorial Mile.
State Sen. Liz Brown, R-Fort Wayne, held a ceremony to debut the fruits of Senate Concurrent Resolution 7, the bill she wrote to make the dedication possible. About a dozen veterans attended and crowded around the large sign to unveil it. More than 20,000 veterans live in Allen County, she said.
“President George Washington recognized that the willingness with which our young people are likely to serve will be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation,” Brown said. “This new street name is another way our community pays tribute to them and every veteran who has served our great nation.”
It is fitting, County Commissioner Nelson Peters said, to have the memorial stretch from Parnell Avenue to Crescent Avenue since it places one end directly in front of the Coliseum, which features a shrine where veterans and supporters gather twice a year to pay tribute to those who died in war.
Veteran Patrick Frazier said he has been proud to watch memorials for veterans being erected around Fort Wayne, such as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall replica and the Veterans National Memorial Shrine and Museum on O'Day Road.
“The importance is that they never forget. That is our mantra. We cannot let veterans be forgotten,” he said. “It would be a tragedy for all of those who have perished to be totally ignored, which would be the ultimate insult.”
Each veteran who attended received a small replica of the Veterans National War Memorial sign to take home.