TOWANDA - The first phase of the construction of the Bradford County Veterans Memorial Park is nearly complete, with seven flagpoles erected several days ago on a retaining wall at the west end of the park.

The Bradford County Veterans Memorial Park Association, which is the group that is organizing the construction of the park, still needs to raise roughly $400,000 to help pay for the remaining three phases of the park's construction, association spokesman Joe Doherty said on Saturday.

The funds needed for the construction of each phase must be raised before the construction of that phase can start, Doherty said.

"If the people of Bradford County would like to honor their veterans, this is the time to do it, because (the amount of revenue being raised by the association) is stagnant," Doherty said on Saturday.

The park, which will honor veterans and those currently serving in the military, is being constructed on a borough-owned parcel that is bordered by U.S. Route 6, the Merrill Parkway, the Robert D. Farley Connector, and Route 2027.

Doherty said he is pleased with how the first phase is turning out.

As part of the first phase, four bronze plaques, each of which will measure four feet by four feet, will be mounted in recesses on the east side of the wall, he said. Doherty said he hopes to see the plaques affixed to the wall in the next week or two.

One of the plaques will honor the men and women from Bradford County who have served in the military and will contain the names of all the county's boroughs and townships, he said.

A second plaque will contain the great seal of the United States, surrounded by the emblems of the five branches of the U.S. military.

The third plaque will have a timeline showing the conflicts the United States has been involved in, from the Revolutionary War up until the global war on terrorism, Doherty said.

And on the fourth plaque will be written Isaiah 2:4: "And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

A sign will be mounted on the west side of the wall, with black letters, that will say, "Bradford County Veterans Memorial."

The flagpoles will have solar-powered lighting, Doherty said. The park will have a U.S. flag, an MIA/POW flag and a flag for each of the five branches of the U.S. military.

In April, there will be a dedication ceremony held when the U.S. flag will be flown for the first time in the park, Doherty said.

The second phase of the park's construction is scheduled to go forward this spring, Doherty said. The second phase includes the construction of the park's parking lot; a sidewalk connecting the park to Sen. Roger A. Madigan Gateway Park, and steps and a ramp that will connect the parking lot to the park's upper level, where the monuments will be located, he said.

A wall, which will have a "pretty" appearance and which will be made of concrete blocks, will separate the parking lot from the upper level, he said.

During the third and fourth phases, more features of the park will be installed, including granite benches, corner markers, granite pavers, individual conflict memorials, a rotunda and two bronze statues, Doherty said.

The association hopes to construct the various phases "fluently, one after another, complete with proper landscaping and appropriate lighting," according to a press release issued by the association last fall.

The association is still selling granite pavers to be installed in the park, which can be used by citizens to honor a loved one who is a veteran. The pavers cost $75.

If you care to make a donation toward the construction of the park, make a check out to "Bradford County Veterans Memorial Park Association" and mail it to: The Borough of Towanda, Attn: BCVMPA, 724 Main St., Towanda, PA 18848, Doherty said.

Donations for the construction of the park are considered a "charitable donation" for tax purposes, according to the association.

For more information about the park, go to bcvmpa.org.

The park is co-sponsored by the borough of Towanda.

James Loewenstein can be reached at (570) 265-1633; or email: jloewenstein@thedailyreview.com.