Memorial Park (Omaha)
Memorial Park on a fine spring day in April 2011
|Area||67 acres (271,000 m2)|
|Operated by||Government of Omaha|
|Status||Open all year|
Memorial Park is a park located at 6005 Underwood Avenue near the Dundee neighborhood of Omaha, Nebraska. The park was created as a memorial for all of the men and women from Douglas County that have served in the armed forces.
Originally proposed by a local citizen in an editorial to the Omaha World-Herald, a group of businessmen and leaders, including Storz Brewery owner Robert H. Storz and the Omaha Zoo namesake Henry Doorly met to discuss a memorial. A site was chosen near Omaha University, where Happy Hollow Club and the Dundee Golf Course were located. A Memorial Park Association was created, and in 1948 it raised funds to create a monument in the park.
On June 5, 1948 President Harry S. Truman dedicated the site. In 1959 the Omaha Rose Society added a rose garden, and in 1990 Woodmen of the World added flagpoles and flags along the driveway coming into memorial park. A pedestrian bridge over Dodge Street called the Memorial Park Pedestrian Bridge was completed in 1968. The park was the site of several anti-Vietnam War protests by youth activists in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
At Memorial Park, there are over 1,000 rose bushes, which make for pleasant scenery.
On the last Friday in June, Bank of the West hosts the "Bank of the West Celebrates America" concert in the park, which always ends with a fireworks show in commemoration of the Independence Day (United States) holiday. The concert attracts over 50,000 people each year.
The Village People headlined the 2003 concert.
In July 2004, 311 played at Memorial Park for free in celebration of Omaha's 150th Anniversary. There were over 40,000 people there to celebrate.
REO Speedwagon performed at the event in 2006.
The Bank of the West Celebrates America concert marked its 20th year in Omaha in 2010 by bringing the national “United In Rock” tour of Foreigner, Styx, and Kansas to the annual free live concert and fireworks show in Memorial Park on Friday, July 2, 2010. Officials estimated attendance reached a record 80,000 attendees.
Huey Lewis and the News headlined the 2012 event with openers Mockingbird Sun and the winner of the Bank of the West Celebrates America contest, Scarlett Drive, on June 29.
- "City of Omaha parks & Recreation" City of Omaha. Retrieved 3/23/08.
- "Memorial Park Pedestrian Bridge", Omaha Midcentury Modern. Retrieved 3/28/08.
- "Omaha Is on the Alert After 4 Nights of Unrest", The New York Times. July 11, 1971. Retrieved 4/20/08.
-  Bank of the west. Retrieved 6/03/09.
-  Bank of the west. Retrieved 6/07/10.