Information provided via press release:

Groundbreaking for Howard County Veterans Monument and Neighborhood Square Set for June 29, 2019.

Neighborhood Square to be named for local WWII veteran Vivian C “Millie” Bailey

A groundbreaking ceremony for a long-awaited monument and 26,000-square-foot park in tribute to Howard County’s veterans and military families will be held on Saturday, June 29, 2019, at 9 a.m. at the Downtown Columbia Lakefront.

The ceremony will be hosted by the Howard County Veterans Foundation, Inc., in partnership with the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks, The Howard Hughes Corporation, and Columbia Association.

The event will take place at the site of the future Veterans Monument, located on the shore of Lake Kittamaqundi adjacent to Whole Foods Market on Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. The ceremonial groundbreaking will also include remarks by Howard County Executive Dr. Calvin Ball Jr., Howard Hughes Corporation Regional President Greg Fitchitt, Columbia Association President/CEO Milton W. Matthews, and Howard County Veterans Foundation President Robert Gillette.  Gillette will also serve as the Master of Ceremonies.

The Neighborhood Square will be named for longtime Howard County resident and community leader Vivian C. Bailey, better known as “Ms. Millie,” in recognition of her military service during World War II and her lifelong commitment to public service.  The new park, to be known as the “Vivian C. ‘Millie’ Bailey Neighborhood Square,” is being developed by Howard Hughes Corporation as part of the Downtown Columbia redevelopment effort. The multi-use park will also serve as home for the Howard County Veterans Monument, which is being developed by the Howard County Veterans Foundation, Inc.  The Foundation has raised $375,000, nearly one-third of its $1.2 Million goal for construction and ongoing maintenance of the monument. Sources of funding to-date include in-kind and cash contributions from Howard Hughes Corporation and other local businesses, as well as a one-time grant from Howard County and unsolicited pledges and donations from private donors.

“We could not be more pleased to name this park for Ms. Millie Bailey,” said Robert Gillette, president of the Howard County Veterans Foundation, Inc. “This park will have three areas of programming. One area is a community gathering space, or ‘free speech’ zone. The others are a play area for children as well as the home site of the veterans monument.” Each area of the park represents the three main service areas of its namesake. 

For more information on this event, please visit http://www.howardcountyveterans.org. For press inquiries, general questions or to find out how to make a tax-deductible charitable contribution to the Veterans Monument Project, contact Robert Gillette at 443-668-1037 or info@howardcountyveterans.org.

About Vivian C. “Millie” Bailey:

1LT Vivian Mildred Corbett (Bailey) graduated from Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) Training Center, Fort Des Moines, Iowa, Officer Candidate School 9 April 1943 and was commissioned as a 3d Officer WAAC. Subsequently she transferred into the Women’s Army Corps (WAC). From April 1943-May 1944 she served as second in command of the Women’s Colored Detachment, Fort McClellan, Alabama. Upon her transfer from there, Lieutenant Corbett received a Letter of Commendation recognizing her stellar professional performance and her “excellent character, spirit, and disposition.”

From May 1944-January 1946, Lieutenant Corbett served as the Unit Commander, Women’s Colored Detachment #2 at Fort Benning, Georgia. During that time period she was selected and attended the Adjutant General School, Officers’ Administration Course, November-December 1944, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. She was one of only two African American women in that class and graduated with a superior rating (only three superior ratings were given). It was the only time she served in a non-segregated environment during her time in service. 1st Lieutenant Vivian Corbett was honorably discharged from the Women’s Army Corps, Army of the United States on the eighth day of January 1946.

Ms. Bailey and her husband, William, moved to Howard County in 1970.  Since she arrived in Columbia, Ms. Bailey has been a well-respected community leader. Her passion and commitment to serving others endures to this day, and at 100 years of age, she continues to give back to her community in many ways. She is a member of American Legion Post 156, she personally prepares gift packages for our actively deployed soldiers, and she can be found at Running Brook Elementary School, volunteering her time to lend a helping hand. She has been recognized by the Community Action Council of Howard County with the 2018 Reverend John W. Holland Humanitarian Award for her lifelong commitment to serving others and in May 2015 she had the distinct honor of being invited to the White House to meet with former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama. 

About the Howard County Veterans Foundation, Inc.:

The Howard County Veterans Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that exists to honor the services and sacrifices of veterans and their families who live, work or play in Howard County. The foundation is currently engaged in the planning and construction of the Howard County Veterans Monument to honor our veterans and their families. The monument will be located at the Downtown Columbia Lakefront. To learn about sponsorship opportunities, contact: info@howardcountyveterans.org • www.howardcountyveterans.org • www.facebook.com/HoCoVeterans

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