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Could a new arena change part of the Tidewater Veterans Memorial?

Posted at 11:36 PM, Nov 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-18 06:35:24-05

Virginia Beach, Va. - At the Tidewater Veterans Memorial near the Convention Center in Virginia Beach, there's a sense of reverence you get when you visit.

But a proposal to build an arena nearby could change the way it looks today.

Part of the memorial is Veterans Memorial Park, which is dedicated to Billy Myers Senior - a World War II and Korean War veteran.

Myers' widow says he helped get the park built more than 25 years ago.

“Myra Oberndorff, who was mayor at the time, came to his deathbed and told him that park would be dedicated to him and named after him and he died three days later,” says Stuart Myers.

But all the trees and shrubbery in the park may not fit into the plan for the entertainment and sports arena.

The developer, United States Management, LLC, wants it to have a campus feel with a plaza, meaning the park could be changed.

“I certainly wouldn’t say all of it is going to change, but we are going to have to make some modifications so that it fits into the surroundings,” says Joe Gelardi.

Gelardi is a veteran himself and the arena program director at USM. He's taken photos of the plaques and memorials at the park and says he'll make sure they all get the honor they deserve.

“The final configuration is going to honor and preserve the honor that it’s intended to celebrate,” says Geraldi.

The exact details of what it'll look like are still being worked out. As they are, those close to the park are worried it won't have the same impact.

“If they were to remove all the shrubbery and the flowers, it would be just a very generic place,” says Mrs. Myers.

Related: 

Residents react to Virginia Beach arena plans

Virginia Beach city council to vote on arena on December 8