Park to offer teaching opportunities

CONYERS -- The pavers are only the first step in the progression of the paths.

On the high path the plan is to build six enclaves that will serve as learning stations for wars from World War I to the Global War on Terror, said Tommy Clack, chairman of the Georgia Veterans Memorial Park Foundation and office manager of the department of veteran services.

Eventually, they will contain the names of every Georgian who has died in each war, similar to the memorial at the state Capitol in Atlanta. The path already contains seven bands that represent the 70 times from 1900 to 1999 that American troops have been deployed or inserted.

"Each of these markers, bands as we call them, has the year and what occurred in that timeframe of insertion," said Clack. "Of course, during the same timeframe, the Persian Gulf War started, and really never ended. These too are educational tools."

The lower path, which is 600 feet, will contain what Clack calls "a stand-up" where visitors will be able to walk through and observe scenes from both the warfront and the homefront of the six most recent wars.

"The whole purpose of this is education," Clack said. "We don't glorify war. We honor the warrior and the homefront and their whole service and sacrifice."