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History – The Villages Memorial Park



The Veteran’s Memorial Park had its beginning when Frank Mezzatesta was raising money at the local grocery store for the Ex-POWs. Three young teens stopped to ask him if “POW” stood for “People Out of Work.” An Ex-POW himself; Mezzatesta was shocked that the younger generation had no knowledge of the meaning of the term. He felt compelled to find a way to educate today’s youth about Veterans’ contributions to our nation. Thus, the idea of a monument to Veterans was born.

A Committee of Veterans and patriotic organizations was formed to work on the project. The Villages developer, the Schwartz/Morse family donated the grounds for the park and using Mezzatesta’s original plans,   provided the architectural design. The Village Foundation administered the fundraising efforts. As a result of the partnership, the new park was dedicated on Veterans’ Day November 11, 1998. Now that the park is complete the Committee conducts regular services for Veterans throughout the year. The public is invited to these services, and local youth groups are also encouraged to participate.