Created By: Mount Joy Borough
A 1.32 acre Memorial Park was established on the Marietta Avenue lot where the first all-Borough School was built in 1873. The building had housed both elementary and high school students until 1925 when a separate high school was built on Poplar Street. The Marietta Avenue lot was condemned and was scheduled for removal in 1954 but the contractor hired to take down the school decided to burn what he didn’t want in the basement and the school went up in smoke and flames since it consisted of all oiled wooded floors.
With the opening of the Donegal Joint High School, the Poplar Street High School was turned into an elementary school. When the debris was removed from the Marietta Avenue plot, several organizations decided that it should be turned into a passive park (not a playground) and be dedicated to all veterans of all wars. In later years a gazebo was added to the park and Sunday evening programs are held there every summer.
In 2009, thanks to a partnership between Mount Joy Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5752 and the Mount Joy Walter S. Ebersole American Legion Post 185, in cooperation with Mount Joy Borough, several war memorial monuments, which had previously been interspersed at various locations throughout Mount Joy, were consolidated into a newly refurbished Veterans’ Memorial Plaza, within Memorial Park, for the entire community to enjoy.
Designed by Borough resident and landscape architect David Christian, the Memorial Plaza is now home to various monuments commemorating those from the Mount Joy area who served in World War I, World War II, as well as in Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, Grenada, the Persian Gulf, Panama, Iraq, and Afghanistan. A new monument honoring all Donegal High School Vietnam, War veterans was most recently installed at the plaza in 2010.
The center of the plaza is the proud home of our American flag, which is securely guarded by the flags of the five United States Military branches: The Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, and the Coast Guard. The Circular path around the flags has purposefully been left unbroken and incomplete, symbolizing the lives of our brave Mount Joy area servicemen and women who proudly served our country and endured the ultimate sacrifice, never being able to complete their path back home to Mount Joy.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Mount Joy Borough Parks