However, it was our generous sponsors from the first four phases that made the Memorial Plaques to our Fallen Heroes Marine Cpl Joshua Dumaw of Spokane Valley, U.S. Air Force Captain Victoria Pinckney, U.S. Navy Corporal Gregory Vercruysse of Spokane and Army Corporal Kelly B. Grothe of Spokane Valley a reality. Phase five will be located at the Liberty Lake City Hall and will consist of eight pieces of fitness equipment that will be installed in time for a dedication ceremony on September 11th, 2015.
Help us keep Miniken's memory alive! His story should be told and remembered by young, aspiring children and adults alike. You can help make this happen!
Or send a check to PO Box 247, Liberty Lake, WA 99019. Sincerely,
Bob Wiese served in the U.S. Marine Corps during a time of peace - now he wants to make sure that those soldiers who saw combat and made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of their country are not forgotten.
Wiese is the driving force behind a project called the "Fallen Heroes Circuit Course," an outdoor exercise feature that would be installed at various city-owned properties in Liberty Lake, including Rocky Hill Park and Pavillion Park. The course will eventually occupy space at a quintet of venues, span a five-mile loop and honor each respective branch of the military - Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy.
"There's nothing I cherish more than the freedoms we have in this country," said Wiese, a resident of Liberty Lake since 2005. "I think it's important to learn the history of what it took to get us those freedoms and the sacrifices other people made. Part of the idea behind the Fallen Heroes Circuit Course is to educate people about those sacrifices. It helps you respect life and respect others. Life's not all about yourself."
Along with those who have died in the line of duty, Wiese also wants to raise awareness for veterans dealing with the effects of battle, from post-traumatic stress disorder to depression. He talks regularly with fellow soldiers who have served numerous tours of duty in the Middle East.
"There are some tough stories out there," Wiese said. "These veterans need our support."
Wiese said the goal of the Fallen Heroes Circuit Course is to supplement "an already amazing parks system in Liberty Lake." He appeared before the City Council last year to pitch the project, which eventually earned a place on the list of prioritized capital projects for 2013. A total of $35,000 in municipal funds are set aside for the first installment of the course in Rocky Hill Park. Wiese and his committee - comprised entirely of Liberty Lake residents - will be charged with generating the remaining $4,432. Wiese expressed hope that a competitive bid process could leave money remaining to start the second project in Pavillion Park.
"We have such a great community here; the idea immediately brought a lot of support," Wiese said. "The City Council had a lot of positive things to say about it. No one saw it as something that was frivolous."
Wiese is quick to point out that the project is "a true community project developed by community members." The committee has had conversations with local groups like the Liberty Lake Kiwanis and Rotary and Friends of Pavillion Park. Now that funding has been secured, groups like the Veterans Outreach Center and VA Hospital will also be consulted.
"This was a complete team effort with highly enthusiastic and professional individuals who volunteered many hours of service in research for the committee," Wiese said.
More critical than the exercise element, Wiese said the course will stand as a unique tribute to soldiers who have served and died to preserve the freedoms many citizens take for granted. The plan is to honor a different fallen hero at each site every year with a ceremony taking place on Memorial Day.
"We really want it to be something that is special," Wiese said. "There are some unbelievably amazing sacrifices that people have made in the line of duty for this country that a lot of people aren't aware of. We want people to see these names and know these stories. We have an incredibly patriotic community, but you can see how complacency would make you forget. It's our duty to remind people."