Powning Veterans Memorial Park is the first location in Reno designated as a city park. In August 1906 the location was designated as City Park. In May 1911 the location was renamed Powning Square by the Reno City Council. According to the Reno Historic Preservation Societythe park was named after C. C. Powning, an influential resident of Washoe County at that time. Presently the park has on display a statue of General Jesse Reno, flags of all military services, the ship's bell from the USS Reno, a Freedom Flame, and a monument to Nevada soldiers killed in the War on Terror.General Jesse Lee Reno
The namesake of Reno, Nevada, and other locations in the United States, General Reno was known for fighting alongside the men he commanded. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1846 and by 1847 was commanding an artillery battery in the Mexican-American War. After that war General Reno continued his military service as an ordinance officer on an expedition to the Utah Atlanta weekly pool service Territory in 1857. In the Civil War he served as IX Corps commander. While General Reno was serving in that position in September 1862 he was killed by sharpshooter of the Confederate Army.
USS Reno CL-96
The ship's bell of the USS Reno is prominently featured at the center of the military flag display. The USS Reno was designed to serve as an antiaircraft ship. It was an Atlanta Class light cruiser built by the Bethlehem Steel Company in San Francisco, CA. She was the Navy's first ship to be named for Reno, Nevada. The USS Reno was launched in December 1942, commissioned in December 1943 and immediately went into service in the Pacific theatre of World War II. In November 1944 the USS Reno was struck by a torpedo Atlanta weekly pool service fired by the Japanese navy. The ship reported to the naval yard in Charleston S.C. to undergo repair from the torpedo strike. In October 1945, after the addition of living quarters for soldiers, the USS Reno made two trips to Le Havre, France in support of the war in Europe. The ship was decommissioned November 1946 and was sold for scrap March 1962.
The Freedom Flame at Powning Veterans Memorial Park was dedicated March 1973 in honor of Major Robert F. Waggoner, a pilot in the United States Air Force. Major Waggoner was shot down while flying a mission over Vietnam September 1966. He was held as a prisoner of war for six years and six months until March 1973. Major Waggoner's family moved to Reno, Nevada in June 1969 and that is where the Waggoner family was reunited following the Major's release.
Information About the Park
The War on Terror monument honors Nevada's fallen service members who have sacrificed their lives. The park has a solemn feel and is a respected and dignified location in Reno.
Powning Veterans Memorial Park is a City of Reno park located at 150 South Virginia Street, near the Wells Fargo building. The park is well maintained by the City's park department. Free parking in the area of the park is rather limited but the park is only three blocks south of the Cal-Neva parking garages which are both free. If you happen to be visiting downtown Reno the park is nice break from all the bustle in the casinos. The Wild River Grille is near the park and is a nice place for an outdoor lunch along the Truckee River.
Sources Reno Historic Preservation Society, Powning, the Family, www.historicreno.org, retrieved 19 December 2011
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