By Linda Dillman
Lockbourne sits in the shadow of the former Lockbourne/Rickenbacker Air Force Base and plans to honor its military heritage with an expansion of the village’s Veterans Park.
Currently located at the northwest end of town at 154 Commerce St., the park was dedicated on July 5, 2004 and is being moved to the center of town to accommodate a growing number of Memorial Day attendees.
“We have a ceremony at the Veterans Park each year and our attendance has grown to the point that the area is too small,” said Lockbourne Mayor Christie Ward. “We are moving the park to a larger area and in the center of town, so it will be part of the Town Square. The current Veterans Park has become too small for use for our Memorial Day parade and commemoration. The new location is much larger and will accommodate more residents and guests.”
According to a master plan design commissioned in October 2019, the new tree-lined park houses a gazebo, benches, memorial pavers, service branch and POW/MIA flags and an American flag, a memorial marker, water feature and overhead pergolas with swing benches.
The park’s new location is 95 Landis St., next to the village’s Historical Hall event center and in Lockbourne’s Town Square. It will be more visible to those passing through town.
“Work has already started on the new location,” said Ward. “Rediscover Lockbourne received a grant to have trees planted around the park. The completion of the project is planned for first of May.”
Rediscover Lockbourne is a 501(3) organization established to support the village with a primary goal of raising funds for the renovation of a former schoolhouse and funding community events.
The group is helping offset the costs of the park project—such as $600 for a military flag, pole and donation plaque—with a GoFundMe page. Ward said the cost of the entire project is $50,000.
For information on the GoFundMe page, the park, or to donate, email Rachel Ricker at email@example.com or contact the village office at (614) 491-3161.
Flags available to donate are: Marines, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and POW.
“Each year, Lockbourne hosts an annual Memorial Day parade and celebration to honor our veterans,” Ward said. “The special event begins at noon with a parade through the village, followed by a ceremony at Lockbourne Veterans Park. We always have a strong presence of veterans and/or their families once stationed at Lockbourne Air Force Base. This local historic event is a central part of the village, Hamilton Township and the surrounding communities.”