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Faces of War monument may move to historic home
by Joan Durbin
jdurbin@neighbornewspapers.com
January 22, 2014 04:11 PM | 1101 views | 2 2 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It’s the linchpin of Roswell’s annual Memorial Day ceremony, which brings thousands of people to city hall for the largest event of its kind in Georgia.

Installed directly behind city hall and dedicated in January 1998, the Faces of War monument represents American armed forces personnel, medics and Vietnamese civilians who died in or were otherwise significantly touched by the Vietnam War.

Its solemnity is underscored during the ceremony when family or friends of a fallen service man or woman lay a wreath at its base.

Now there is a plan to move the entire 14-foot by 20-foot monument, to a wooded area in the southwest corner of the adjacent Archibald Smith Plantation, one of Roswell’s three historic museum homes. The concept is part of the city green plan being proposed by the Downtown Development Authority to create a centrally located green space joining city hall to the Canton Street business district, complete with an interactive water feature, expansive lawn and outdoor seating.

“The purpose of creating an active city green is to leverage the vibrancy of Canton Street, increase connectivity between Canton Street and the 400 parking spaces behind city hall and create a central place where all residents of Roswell can gather and enjoy our wonderful city,” said Monica Hagewood, speaking on behalf of the authority.

To accomplish that aim, the monument has to be moved, said Mayor Jere Wood.

“We’re trying to open up that part of town by providing even more space at city hall and the memorial cuts it off between the road and city hall. It’s not possible to open up to Canton Street with the memorial there,” said Wood.

Hagewood said the authority spent a considerable amount of time trying to balance the new vision with the existing usage and layout of the city green area.

“The Faces of War Memorial requires a quiet, shaded contemplative space, quite the opposite from an active city green,” she said.

The proposed new location on Smith Plantation grounds was “well vetted to make sure that the 6,000-plus attendees of the Memorial Day event were accommodated,” Hagewood said.  

“The operational layout of the event was actually overlaid on the new location and works very well.  The attendees would all be able to sit in complete shade on a very gently sloping terrain and view the program.”

Some trees would have to be removed but specimen trees would remain, according to the mayor, who said he thinks the monument “would be an enhancement” of the historic property.

“It will bring more people to Smith,” Wood said. “The front of Smith House gets very little use. I’d like to see more activity, like people lying on the grass there, picnicking.”

The authority will present its city green concept to city council in a work session on Jan. 27, 5:30 p.m. in Room 220 of city hall. The work session is open to the public.
Comments
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Bubba Ralph
|
April 10, 2014
Regarding the moving of the Faces of War Monument. Do the letters B/S mean anything to you? Mayor Wood is serving his 5th term in office which ends December 2017. Each election campaign beyond his first, was easier that the last because he ran unopposed. Move this cherished Faces of War Monument and 12.31.2017 will be Mayor Wood's last day as Mayor of Roswell, Georgia.
Steven Psilos
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February 19, 2014
I am very confused about this plan. Why would you cut down trees in a "Green" community for a monument that could easily be place in the circle in from of city hall. This is ridiculous.
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