2010 — The Papillion Garden Club created a planter with flowers in a bare Triangle Park.
2011 — The Papillion Junior Woman’s Club added a single flag pole in the middle of the planter.
2013 — Councilman Steve Engberg noted, “This is becoming something special.” Engberg sponsored renaming the park as Veterans Park. Engberg also prompted the creation of a “What if” conceptual plan for what Veterans Park could one day be.
2014 — American Legion Post 32 presented the conceptual plan to its members for buy-in. They chose to adopt the plan and took ownership for acquiring the flag poles. They quickly raised funds and replaced the initial flagpole with nine new flag poles. Woodman of the World donated flags.
During fall 2014, several infrastructure improvements were made to make way for Veterans Park. Powerlines were buried by OPPD, a watermain was relocated, sidewalks were rebuilt and initial interior paths were laid.
2015 — The City of Papillion, Papillion Community Foundation and American Legion Post 32 created a partnership and a concept for Honor Walls at Veterans Park. Plaques on the Honor Walls would honor any veteran associated with Sarpy County.
On Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2015, the first two Honor Walls were dedicated and unveiled during a rainy-day, 11 a.m. ceremony with 1,000 people in attendance. The initial panels included 13 Civil War veterans, 1 Medal of Honor (Civil War), 1 Missing in Action (Vietnam); 3 Killed in Action (1 WW1 and 2 Afghanistan), and many more names of veterans who have served with ties to Sarpy County.
The Papillion Community Foundation adopted the Honor Walls as an official project for long-term management.
2016 — In early 2016, the third and fourth Honor Walls and several benches were added. The fifth Honor Wall was added in the fall.
2017 — The pergola was added in March, and trees donated by TD2 were planted in April on Arbor day. The sixth Honor Wall was added in December.
2018 — Monument entrance signs were added at the southwest corner of the park.
2019 — Donor markers were added to the east entrance of the park, and the seventh Honor Wall was added.
2020 — A colored, stamped walkway was added, providing an interior path past the flag poles. A Papillion 150 Butterfly Bench, donated by the Papillion Junior Woman’s Club, was placed in the park. The seventh Honor wall was added in the summer. The Butterfly & Pollinator Garden was added in the fall to the northside of the park — a project of the Papillion 150 committee.
2021 — The City of Papillion installed an obelisk memorial honoring:
- Army Private Jacob C. Miller, Medal of Honor “Battle of Vicksburg”. He is buried in Cedardale Cemetery in Papillion.
- Army Corporal Harry Bossard, who was killed August 11, 1918 at the beginning of the Meuse Argonne Offensive in France. He is buried in the Meuse Argonne American Cemetery.
- Marine Captain Delmar George Booze, who went Missing in Action while flying in an F4B out of DaNang in 1966. He rolled into an attack, was pulled off target and his transmission was lost.
- Army First Lieutenant Mark Noziska, who was killed August 30, 2010 in Kandahar, Afghanistan and is buried in Grand Island, Nebraska.
- Army Specialist Joseph Cemper, who was killed April 16, 2011 in Forward Operating Base Gamberi, Afghanistan and is buried in Cederdale Cemetery in Papillion.
An eighth Honor Wall was also added in the spring. The Butterfly & Pollinator Garden was completed and dedicated in late summer.
2022 — A Gold Star Memorial was added to the northeast side of the park, including sculptures honoring military servicemembers Killed In Action (KIA) and Missing In Action (MIA), and those who are Prisoners of War (POW).
2023 — A bronze bald eagle sculpture was added at the east entrance of the park. A Purple Heart Memorial was added to honor all those living and deceased who have been wounded in combat. The Purple Heart Memorial includes a bronze sculpture of a Purple Heart medal embedded into a black granite wall. A ninth Honor Wall was also installed early in the year.
Veterans Park has been designed so that it is always complete at its current state; however, it is also intended to support incremental improvements year-over-year.
From a simple planter by the Papillion Garden Club, to a single flagpole and a Blue Star Memorial by the Papillion Junior Woman’s Club to a City vision and a community movement, Veterans Park has truly become a special place of honor for Sarpy County’s military veterans.