“It is just a stupid piece of land,” many might say when they look at Woodbridge’s Veterans Memorial Park. But it is much more to those who know the park’s story. It is a place of peace, serenity, and reflection, a haven of tranquility amid the hustle and bustle of daily life. It’s a place that honors those who have served our country, our history, and our very way of life. The Veterans Memorial Park of Woodbridge, Virginia, opened in 1993 on a new 1800s farm site. The park is dedicated to all of the veterans of the United States of America. According to the general manager of Woodbridge’s Parks Department, Alan Parker, “The park was conceived and donated to the Town of Woodbridge in memory of those who have served in the Armed Forces of our country and as a reminder of the freedom and value of responsible citizenship that all of us should cherish. The park offers several unique and memorable attractions. The central monument is a granite obelisk inscribed with the names of Woodbridge veterans. A sizeable outdoor chapel surrounds the obelisk near the park entrance, with flag poles, benches, a gift shop, and an information center. Information can be found here.
The chapel, named The Chapel of Hope, is a place of solace and respite for veterans and the general public alike. A memorial service is held at the chapel every Saturday, with speeches from local veterans and military personnel. In addition to the chapel, the park also features seven memorial plaques. Each plaque commemorates a particular branch of the United States military, from the Air Force to the Army. Other plaques honor veterans from specific conflicts, such as the Vietnam War, World War I, and the Korean War. Every name inscribed on the memorials is a powerful reminder of the freedoms and sacrifices each veteran made for the nation. The park is also the site of Woodbridge’s Memorial Day observance on the last Monday of May. The community gathers around the central monument during this special event to honor the fallen veterans. The day has a special parade, speeches, and a wreath-laying ceremony. After the official ceremony, Woodbridge residents typically spend the whole day in the park, enjoying the peaceful and serene atmosphere. When one visits the park, one will find it full of life. Families and friends come to picnic, relax, and enjoy the trails. Weddings, special presentations, and other events are held under the shade of the trees, and the peaceful nature of the park is a welcomed respite from the hustle and bustle of the nearby town. See here for information about Bringing Fun Indoors at Woodbridge’s Beehive Indoor Playground.