Salute: Veterans Memorial Park ready in McKinney

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Next month: Join Vet to Vet USA help feed the wounded warriors at our annual holiday luncheon Dec. 22 in Bonham and Dec. 23 in Dallas at the VA hospital cafeterias. To donate your time or if your restaurant wants to donate food, contact Master Sgt. Jess Johnson at …

Veterans Memorial Park dedication at Craig Ranch

McKinney will host a ceremony celebrating the dedication of the Veterans Memorial Park in McKinney at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12.

Speakers at the event will include U.S. Congressmen Sam Johnson and Ralph Hall, and McKinney Mayor Brian Loughmiller. The McKinney North High School choir will perform a choral prelude, and the ceremony also includes a flyover and performance of Taps.

The Veterans Memorial Park in McKinney features a Wall of Honor inscribed with names of Collin County service members who died in the line of duty, and the park honors all veterans. The Veterans Memorial Park is located at 6053 Weiskopf Ave. in Craig Ranch. Visit for more information.

 Immediately after the ceremony, LegacyTexas Bank hosts the Lone Star Salute adjacent to the site. This event lasts until 2 p.m. and gives attendees the opportunity to visit with friends, family and veterans and tour the park. Music is provided by Kenny & the Kasuals. LegacyTexas Bank will be collecting personal care items to send as care packages to our Texas troops at the event.

McKinney July 4th parade winners

The McKinney Convention & Visitors Bureau named the three organizations selected to split prize money in the July 4th Red White & BOOM Hometown Parade. The parade honored Hometown Heroes and featured 60 entrants representing Veterans, scout troops, service and non-profit organizations, attractions, local businesses, and equestrian groups.  

McKinney Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Lone Star Post 2150 was the judges’ unanimous winner for the first prize of $500. 

The VFW, which is celebrating 75 years of service to McKinney veterans this year, featured numerous American flags, military flags, patriotic bunting, and a display of a soldier’s boots, weapons and helmet, as well as veterans’ and soldiers’ families and an Uncle Sam character who waved at attendees as the float passed by. Signs attached to the truck pulling the float announced the date of the upcoming opening of McKinney’s Veterans Memorial Park, now under construction at Craig Ranch.  
SECOND PRIZE – Guardians of Grace
Winning the second prize of $250 was the Guardians of Grace entry from McKinney’s chapter of the Christian Motorcycle Association. 

More than 100 motorcycles strong, this entry featured riders from several area motorcycle clubs, most of which had decorated their bikes with American flags, streamers and other patriotic-colored materials. Many of the riders also donned red, white and blue clothing, bandanas, and beads. Some of the bikers rode motorcycles painted with American flags.  
THIRD PLACE – Trinity Trail Riders

The equestrian group Trinity Trail Riders was named the third prize winner of $100. The dozen or so horses and were riders representing this organization were all dressed and decorated in their best patriotic finery and carried flags.   

MCVB executive director Diann Bayes said, “We always love seeing what all the entering organizations and individuals come up with to show their patriotism. We appreciate all the hard work and creativity they all put into their entries. We were excited, too, to see so many people turn out to enjoy this patriotic event, and to stay around the square afterward to shop, eat some lunch, and then visit the car show that afternoon.” 
Judging this year’s event were McKinney comic Laura Bartlett of Four Funny Ladies, business coach and chairman of the board of Chestnut Square Historic Village Tim Baker, and McKinney Main Street executive director Ty Lake.
“Every year, it is a tougher decision for our judges to decide on the winners,” Bayes said. “We really appreciate having them come out and help us make the parade a success.” 
Prize money and certificates will be presented to the winners next week. 

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Breaking ground at Veterans Memorial Park

The Veterans Memorial Park in McKinney will break ground with a ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 11 a.m. The $1.2 million memorial park received the final amount of funding for its Craig Ranch location when the Collin County Commissioners Court approved a $300,000 park construction grant last year. The park is anticipated to open on Veterans Day this year.

“This memorial park is extremely important to our entire community. It took a lot of people to help make it a reality, and we are all eagerly anticipating the dedication this fall,” said McKinney Interim City Manager Rick Chaffin.

The memorial is located on a half acre site in Van Tuyl Plaza at Craig Ranch. It will feature a Wall of Honor with the inscribed names of those Collin County servicemen and women who sacrificed their lives in defense of our freedom, while it honors all veterans. A lighted American flag will fly 24-hours a day over the wall. A fountain at the base of the flagpole will symbolically water Shumard Red Oak trees representing each branch of the Armed Services. A ribbon-like walkway will extend from one end to the other.

“It’s been more than five years since we first conceived the idea, and we are all focused on finishing the park in time to honor our fallen soldiers this Veterans Day,” said former Marine and McKinney Armed Services Memorial Board member Ronnie Foster. “This park will provide our community and the entire county with a place to remember those who have fought and died for our freedom, and pay tribute to their sacrifice.”

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