A large crowd assembled to dedicate the simple, yet elegant stone memorial that contains the names of over 280 men and women who have served their country and called Purdy their home.
"This memorial honors those who have been a part of keeping this country free," said 68th District State Representative Dave Sater, during his address to the crowd. "Some of these individuals gave up two lives: the one they were living and the one they were going to live in order to serve our nation.
"We are forever indebted to their service," continued Sater. "They are a reminder that freedom is never free."
The design for the memorial came from a similar erection in Greenfield.
"I was visiting the park in Greenfield and admiring their tribute memorial," said Aaron Bolin, the community park's project manager. "I explained the concept to Ed [Mareth, Project Genesis founder] and he had me build it."
Mareth's Project Genesis was the driving force behind the construction, design and establishment of the park, located east of city hall. Situated in the heart of the new park, the memorial stands as a testament of honor, sacrifice and thankfulness on behalf of those who served and a grateful community.
The idea of having a memorial naming the town's veterans was Mareth's.
"We can never thank our service men and women enough," said Mareth. "Just as the park, at the heart of the city, showcases the best our community has to offer. This memorial is at the heart of our park and shows our sincere thankfulness for those who served our country."
Mareth said he was pleased with the number of names that were found for the memorial. The names have been mounted on metal plates in alphabetical order. A tablet was left for other veterans to be identified. By Saturday evening, another 30 names had been written for inclusion.
The Purdy Genesis Community Park was built in the middle of Purdy and designed to allow visitors to view the essence of what the small Missouri community embodies.
"Purdy is a special community because its residents care about each other," said Mareth. "Sometimes we care a little too much, but I would rather live in a place where people cared too much than not enough."
Mareth stated that his business when it comes to promoting Purdy, follows three criteria: faith, education and economics.
"A visitor can stand in the center of this park and view what this city is all about," said Mareth. "To the south, we have our school, east we have faith (referencing the church across from the park). To the north, we have industries which will help sustain our viability, and now at the heart of the park and the city we have a memorial to honor our veterans."