Freedom Memorial – State of the City April 2015

Mayor John SoreySERVICE: “The action of helping or doing work for someone.” That is what more than three thousand people were doing on September 11, 2001. Some lost limbs, many lost their lives and we all lost a piece of innocence.

When we think about that day, most of us can say we knew someone directly or indirectly in New York City, Washington D.C. or Pennsylvania.

Our nation was built and is today sustained by Patriots who act when necessary.

Southwest Florida community leaders with a track record of getting things done took on the task of completing the unfinished Freedom Memorial at the Fred W. Coyle Freedom Park.

The Memorial is located on Golden Gate Parkway just east of Goodlette Frank Road.

Planning for this Memorial began in 2004 as an initiative of the Board of County Commissioners, led by Commissioner Fred Coyle. It grew to include County officials, local law enforcement agencies, Naples’ City Council and area fire departments.

The Memorial will stand as a permanent tribute to the members of our armed forces and their families, and to the first responders and civilians who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and those that followed.

Freedom MemorialAfter a rigorous screening process, the Board of County Commissioners selected the design of Gerald A. Ladue depicted above as an appropriate visual representation of our community’s concept of American freedom and values. The shape is of an unfurled American flag made of granite.

It sits on a representation of the United States of America, has the seal of each state surrounding the flag and the walkway is in the shape of
The Pentagon. The bricks of the walkway are inscribed with names and tributes to loved ones who served our country.

Beginning on October 1, 2014 efforts begin in earnest to raise the funds to complete the work that had begun in March of 2009. Thanks to all who made contributions, especially Jay and Patty Baker who made an initial lead matching gift and a second lead gift at the Gala. We greatly appreciate all the volunteers and contributors of any amount as it takes a team to make anything happen. A special thanks to the Board of County Commissioners led by Commissioner Hiller who pledged $600,000 as a matching grant for all dollars raised since October 1, 2014.

Freedom Memorial DrawingWith the addition of $100,000 from the Naples City Council, we are very close to matching the $600,000. Each gift is critically important as it represents a commitment to our values, our beliefs and our heritage.

The momentum has changed. You can feel the excitement. Todd Gates has agreed to be the general contractor at no cost to the project and use his experience to value engineer the project. The construction process is being developed with the County staff to insure no issues occur.

The granite will be ordered soon and will take 8-12 weeks for delivery and then construction will begin in earnest. Completion is anticipated early next year.

You can still be a part of this project. Send your contribution of any size to Freedom Memorial Foundation, 6017 Pine Ridge Road, Suite 249, Naples, FL 34119.

Let’s get this Freedom Memorial finished.

If you have any ideas, suggestions, or comments, please call me at 239.248.1550 or email me at

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.