This Thursday, Miami Lakes will unveil a 10-foot memorial statue in front of Town Hall to honor local military veterans.
“If it weren’t for our vets, who protected our freedoms on a daily basis, we wouldn’t have this town,” said Vice Mayor Manny Cid. He added that the memorial will serve as a “vital reminder” for the community to honor those who served.
The “V is for Veterans” memorial artwork is the first public art project to be built for the two-story Town Hall, which opened in April 2013.
“The letter ‘v’ is for veterans, but it can be for victory or valor,” said artist Stephanie Jaffe Werner, who designed the sculpture.
The $60,000 project honors all five branches of the U.S. military: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Each side of the memorial’s pentagonal base contains a ceramic seal and military creed for each branch, arranged clockwise around the sculpture in order of the branch’s date of inception. The Army sits in front, under the gleaming red, white and blue mosaic tile that covers the sculpture.
A number of commemorative bricks that make up the pathway to the memorial, which were bought by town residents to help with costs for the project, will also be revealed at Thursday’s event. Bricks in the memorial will honor various community veterans, including the grandfather of Cid’s wife, Melissa, who served in World War II.
The memorial was commissioned after a county ordinance allocated 1.5 percent of the Town Hall’s construction costs to be put toward public art. The art was chosen by a professional advisory committee and the Miami Lakes Veterans Committee, which brought their recommendation to the Town Council for approval.
The Veterans Committee followed guidelines of the Miami Dade Art in Public Places program to choose the artist for the memorial.
Roughly $5,000 remains for Miami Lakes to spend in their incorporation of public art at Town Hall.
The ceremony, organized by the Miami Lakes Veterans Committee, will be at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday in front of Town Hall, 6601 Main St.