ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball joined the Howard County Veterans Foundation to announce $50,000 in County funding for the final design of the Howard County Veterans Monument and launch a capital campaign. Ball included this funding in his Fiscal Year 2022 budget, building upon the $350,000 slated for construction in state bond funding to jumpstart the capital campaign. The historic project will be prominently located at Bailey Park in downtown Columbia on land donated by The Howard Hughes Corporation. To learn more or donate to the campaign, please click here. Photos of the event can be found here.
The Howard County Veterans Monument will provide a meaningful space for reflection, connection, and a renewed appreciation for the service and sacrifice of our veterans. As is the true Howard County way, we’ve reached this point due to the many people and organizations working together. The importance of veterans to our community cannot be overstated. This monument will be a landmark for us all to gather and pay tribute to the men and women who served our country.
The Foundation is planning for the design of the monument to be completed by November 2021 and the monument dedication is projected to be completed by Memorial Day 2023. The Foundation was founded in 2016 with the intention to design, develop, and install a Veterans Monument to honor Howard County veterans and military families.
“On behalf of the Howard County Delegation we’re proud that we were able to be part of this effort and provide bond funding to move this project forward,” said Senator Guy Guzzone. “Everyone of us has been touched by the commitment of veterans throughout our lives. It is so important to never forget that level of commitment that level of giving from our veterans.”
"These funds made possible by the State of Maryland and Howard County move us one step closer towards realizing the full beauty of this park and seeing the Howard County Veterans and Military Families Monument become a reality,” said Robert Gillette, President of the Howard County Veterans Foundation. “On behalf of the Board of Directors and the rest of our team, I want to express our thanks and gratitude for steadfast commitment to this project from our State and County elected officials. This is truly a community effort and we are humbled by the support received from Howard County and its residents."
“The Howard Hughes Corporation is proud of its role in creating Bailey Park, which is already a popular playground and honors its namesake, ‘Ms. Millie,’” said Greg Fitchitt, President, Columbia, The Howard Hughes Corporation. “With the support of County Executive Calvin Ball and Howard County government and our Howard County State Legislators, we are now one step closer to Bailey Park’s centerpiece – the Howard County Veterans Monument, a gathering place to celebrate those who give so much of themselves to protect our rights as Americans, including our First Amendment rights to free speech and to peaceably assemble.”
“I appreciate the opportunity to honor the women and men who have served,” said Lakey Boyd, President/CEO of the Columbia Association. “Monuments are such an important component of the community. I’m thrilled that we will have a monument where people that visit our Lakefront will see and can be reminded and appreciate everyday the service of our veterans.”
“About 5 years ago the proposal for a veterans monument was initiated, and it seemed a very bold project, but it stayed on our agenda,” said Robert Berlett of American Legion Post 300. “What guided us was the knowledge that while Howard County has many memorials there was not a veterans monument where all veterans and their families could gather. Now Howard County is at the final stages at having the veterans monument become a reality. For many years into the future all veterans and their families will come to the Lakefront in downtown Columbia to celebrate the honor of being part of service to America.”