A groundbreaking ceremony for a long-awaited monument and 26,000-square-foot park in tribute to Howard County’s veterans and military families will be held on Saturday, June 29, 2019, at 9 a.m., at the Downtown Columbia Lakefront.
The ceremony will be hosted by the Howard County Veterans Foundation, Inc., in partnership with the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, The Howard Hughes Corp. (HHC) and Columbia Association (CA).
The event will take place at the site of the future Veterans Monument, to be located on the shore of Lake Kittamaqundi, adjacent to Whole Foods Market on Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. The ceremonial groundbreaking will also include remarks by Howard County Executive Calvin Ball Jr., HHC Regional President Greg Fitchitt, CA President/CEO Milton Matthews and Howard County Veterans Foundation President Robert Gillette. Gillette will also serve as the Master of Ceremonies.
The Neighborhood Square will be named for longtime Howard County resident and community leader Vivian C. Bailey, better known as “Ms. Millie,” in recognition of her military service during World War II and her lifelong commitment to public service. The new park, to be known as the “Vivian C. ‘Millie’ Bailey Neighborhood Square,” is being developed by HHC as part of the Downtown Columbia redevelopment effort.
The multi-use park will also serve as home for the Howard County Veterans Monument, which is being developed by the Howard County Veterans Foundation. The foundation has raised $375,000, nearly one-third of its $1.2 million goal for construction and ongoing maintenance of the monument. Sources of funding to-date include in-kind and cash contributions from HHC and other local businesses, as well as a one-time grant from Howard County and unsolicited pledges and donations from private donors.