Veterans Park is Tulsa’s tribute to all Tulsa County veterans, serving as a visual reminder that freedom is not free.
Veterans Park was originally known as Boulder Park, and consists of over 15 acres straddling 18th and Boulder Avenue in Tulsa. Boulder Park was rededicated as Veterans Park in 1990. While the park is a memorial, it also contains several individual memorials commemorating the service of Tulsa County veterans.
The original memorial began as a temporary memorial erected in 1944 to commemorate the service and sacrifice of Tulsans in World War II. After the war, a permanent memorial was designed and built with funds raised from the Tulsa community. Additional information is contained in a local blogger’s entry on Veterans Park.
The permanent memorial was dedicated in 1954 “in honor of those citizens of Tulsa County who gave their lives in defense of our country,” and stands in a small grove of trees across the street from the main portion of Veterans Park.
On July 4, 1985, a commemorative obelisk was added in front of the main memorial, dedicated to “members of the armed forces of the United States from Tulsa County who gave their lives for our nation.” The plaque on this obelisk lists World War I, World War II, Korea and Viet Nam.
Several smaller memorials are located next to the main memorial. There is a memorial dedicated to the memory of veterans of the Spanish-American War; a Freedom Tree dedicated to POW/MIA/KIA and all who served with honor in Southeast Asia; and a Blue Star Memorial Byway dedicated by the Tulsa Council of Federated Garden Clubs.
Across the street in the main park is a chainsaw sculpture entitled “Two Sides of Freedom” by Clayton Cross (the picture is from Clayton’s website). The sculpture was created from the trunk of a tree damaged in an ice storm in 2007. Click on an image below to enlarge it.