The Plaza is a non-profit that receives no funding from Federal, State, County, or City government. All operational funds are received through fund raisers, brick sales, and donations.
The origin of the Plaza began in 2000 with members of the community wanting to restore the century old Michael Jeffers Park, on East Genesee and South Warren Avenues, to its original design. This was also the site of the World War II monument. As work progressed toward restoration, many veterans of the area expressed interest in placing all of the war memorial monuments from around the City of Saginaw into one location. This served the restoration project nicely, since the WWII monument was not originally part of the Michael Jeffers Park. The WWII monument had been placed at this location in 1946, forty years after the parks dedication in 1906. Members from the United Veterans Council of Saginaw County and the Exchange Club of Saginaw (the purchaser of the WWII monument) began discussing options for the WWII monument. In short order a Saginaw County Veterans Memorial Plaza Committee was officially formed and lead by Co-chairmen Tom Webb and Frank Rocha, Jr.
After the Committee’s inception a list of possible sites for the Plaza were considered. After the Committee reviewed all the possible sites they finally suggested a site at Hoyt Park on the upper ellipse across from the Warming House be the location for the plaza. Coincidently, for many years this had been the location of the WWI monument. With the City of Saginaw’s approval for the use of the land at Hoyt Park, start up money was donated from the Exchange Club of Saginaw; County of Saginaw; City of Saginaw; and the Board of Education Liaison Committee to pay for the Plaza’s architectural design and other incidentals it took to run the Committee.
In 2001 an architect was hired and the final design of five separate circular structures called “pods” was approved. Each of the four pods would contain the monuments for WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. The fifth pod, larger than the rest would contain three flag poles flying the American, State, and POW/MIA flags, and would be used as a pod to hold ceremonies. Future pods could include monuments for the Middle East, Civil, and Spanish/American wars. The floor of each pod is covered in paving pricks that can be sold individually for people to engrave names and info of veterans from Saginaw County.
During 2002 the first phase of construction took place. The foundation of the Plaza was installed by Wolgast Construction and the electrical systems were laid by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. Both were at no cost to the plaza. Soon bricks began to be laid, and the Plaza began to take shape as the architectural drawings had specified. Plants, trees, and bushes were also planted within the boundaries of the Plaza to finalize the landscape plan.
On May 30, 2005 at the Memorial Day service the Plaza was officially dedicated to the men and women from Saginaw County who served their Country during war and peace in the cause of freedom. The mission of the Plaza is to provide a place where people can come and pay homage to all Saginaw County veterans.