Local News

Group Plans to Build $20M Attraction to Honor Vets

Posted May 19, 2007 5:46 p.m. EDT
Updated May 19, 2007 10:45 p.m. EDT

— A $20 million national attraction dedicated to the stories of 19 million United States veterans is in the works in Cary.

SAS founder Jim Goodnight, and his wife donated the land for Veterans Freedom Park on North Harrison Avenue.

Dave Milidonis, executive director of the nonprofit behind the project, said he sees it as his duty to share the freedom story with anyone who'll listen.

“(It's to be) a world-class park and national destination point, which is a big vision, and much larger than starting with small pieces,” Milidonis said.

An Army veteran himself, Milidonis said his plans include adding a 150-foot spire with an educational center, and interactive exhibits, allowing veterans to share their experiences with future generations.

“They'll drive through a trench system reminiscent of WWI,” said Army veteran Al Fessenden, who is helping Milidonis design the plan and raise the funds.

The group is also working to preserve veterans’ stories for history by restoring service records. They are also helping to save voice recordings of individual veteran accounts.

“My vision, my whole intent, is to create a place here that tells that story,” Milidonis said.

So far, the nonprofit has quietly raised $4 million, but the public should expect to hear more from the group. On Friday, it is expecting hundreds of people to come to the park for its first veteran's story day.