Plans for The Collier County Freedom Memorial began in 2004, when the Collier County Board of County Commissioners declared September as Freedom Month in Collier County and launched the “What Does Freedom Mean to You? campaign.
The campaign grew into a community project involving County officials, local law enforcement agencies, the Naples City Council and area fire departments. The memorial will pay tribute to members of our armed forces who have sacrificed their lives in the defense of our nation along with the law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel and civilians who died in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Originally planned for construction on the Collier County Government Center grounds, the $2 million monument is now being constructed at Freedom Park a water quality park that is planned near the intersection of Golden Gate Parkway and Goodlette-Frank Rd. With shaded walkways and pleasant natural setting, it will become a gathering place not only for local residents but also for visitors who want to pause to remember and pay tribute to the enduring spirit of freedom.
Along with its great aesthetic values, Freedom Park provides other qualities that have always been important to the Freedom Memorial Task Force visible from major roadways, includes parking onsite and nearby, provides peaceful and respectful surroundings to pedestrians and families and is ADA accessible.
The granite, stone and water memorial as planned will be 13 feet tall and 40 feet wide, in the shape of the American flag anchored on a granite base in the shape of the United States. The monument will contain a water feature and 50 stepping stones representing each state. Behind the memorial, three benches will be placed before a reflection pool to represent the three attacks of the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and United Flight 93.
Inscribed bricks will surround the entire monument. The commemorative bricks will allow citizens, Collier residents and their families to become a lasting part of the project. Each brick will be inscribed and laid into a six-foot wide pathway that will form the shape of a pentagon around the monument. At the present time, an active campaign is underway to sell approximately 8,000 bricks available in two sizes. Bricks that are 4 x 8 inches cost $100 and offer 60 characters of inscription, while 8 x 8 inch bricks cost $300 and allow for 120 characters.
For more information on how to purchase a brick click here.
The Freedom Memorial Task Force is responsible for all fundraising, marketing and promotional activities in support of the project. Donations have also been successfully obtained through inserts in utility bill mailings for Collier County and the cities of Naples and Marco Island. The overall goal of the task force is to raise the necessary funds of $1,829,050 to construct the memorial. It is also a goal of the task force to solicit from various vendors donated materials to lower the overall fundraising target.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the memorial was held March 19, 2009. Construction of the memorial is now underway with Kraft Construction Co. handling the initial construction phase which includes survey and layout, earthwork and the concrete foundation.
Founding Members of the Collier County Freedom Memorial:
Fred W. Coyle
Gerald A. Ladue
Sheriff Kevin J. Rambosk