Park filled with tributes to namesake

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CERRO GORDO, Ill (WCIA) — What do you expect to see at a park…a pavilion, bench…maybe a pond?

This park in Piatt County has all of that, but look a little harder, and you’ll see what sets it apart.

Almost everything you see is actually a tribute.

“The whole complex is named Veterans Park. This is Veterans Memorial, and that’s Griswold Pond within that.”

Here’s a piece of the history lesson Ivan Williams gave us.

This town used to be called Griswold.

After the Americans won the battle of Cerro Gordo during the Mexican American War, a change in name followed.

But this pond adopts the old name.

Then there’s a path, with about 150 names of veterans…most from cerro gordo…written in stone, cemented onto the walls.

There’s a monument representing each military branch. and a statue to honor each soldier killed in action.

Williams says everything is significant.

“Give me a number between 1 and 10. To me it’s important…10…To honor the veterans,” he says. “I’m a veteran. I know and understand veterans, and I understand the hardships they’ve gone through.”

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