A Fresh Look
Broadway Dedicates Memorial And Seasonal Farmers Market
Posted: November 13, 2012
Members of American Legion Post 27 attend the dedication ceremony for the veterans wall and farmers market lot in Broadway on Monday. The wall was erected on the abandoned property on the corner of Rock and Main streets. (Photos by Nikki Fox)
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke, recognizes veterans while speaking at a dedication ceremony for the veterans wall and farmers market lot in Broadway on Monday.
Margaret Anderson, mother of fallen soldier Army Spc. Brian “Bucky” Anderson, embraces Goodlatte at the event. In dedicating the veterans wall, Goodlatte honored the soldier who was killed in Afghanistan in June 2010.
Exposed rock had started to erode, turning the lot into an unsightly mess, not to mention a potential safety hazard adjacent to a residential area.
Mayor John Long called the property “an eyesore.” Town Manager Kyle O’Brien referred to it as “ugly.” Del. Tony Wilt, R-Broadway, trying to choose his words delicately, said the lot had its challenges.
On Monday morning, more than 100 people gathered at the once-maligned site for a dedication ceremony to celebrate the renovated property, which now features a veterans wall and space for the seasonal farmers market.
“This truly is a miracle to see the outcome of all the hard work and the labor that has gone into this,” Wilt said. “[The town] took the bull by the horn, so to speak, to [buy] this lot and turn it into something useful and vital to the community.”
The 14-foot brick wall, which tapers off on the sides, now greets visitors to Broadway as they drive through town on Main Street.
Construction was completed this fall on the $200,000 project, which was partially funded by a $99,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, O’Brien said.
Town officials wanted to take a multifaceted approach to the project. In addition to the wall honoring the nation’s veterans, the lot will accommodate Broadway’s burgeoning farmers market, and double as a public green space the rest of the time.
The timing of the dedication, Long noted, worked out perfectly.
“It’s especially fitting that we are able to dedicate this wall and this lot during the observed Veterans Day,” Long said. “[Town staff] has worked tirelessly to get it to this point so we could have this celebration today.”
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Roanoke, who helped Broadway secure the USDA grant, called Broadway a “great spot” for a farmers market with its location in the heart of the agriculturally rich Shenandoah Valley.
“It’s only appropriate that … the farmers, of whom there are many in this area, should have the opportunity to have a good spot where they can offer their production,” he said.
In dedicating the veterans wall, Goodlatte honored a hometown fallen soldier in Army Spc. Brian “Bucky” Anderson, who was killed in Afghanistan in June 2010.
After his speech, Goodlatte stepped down from the podium, and presented Anderson’s mother, Margaret, a Bible embossed with her son’s name.
“This is really for you and your son that the Town Council has created this memorial,” Goodlatte said.
Contact Doug Manners at 574-6293 or email@example.com