Wed10222014

Mountain View on the Move

Council green-lights new, inclusive veterans memorial


Courtesy of City of Mountain View
The Mountain View City Council voted last month to modify the veterans memorial at Eagle Park to honor a broader cross-section of those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces. The proposed changes include a new plaque and a “buy-a-brick” program.

The Mountain View City Council Jan. 28 gave the unanimous go-ahead to a one-spot-fits-all veterans memorial at Eagle Park.

The plan allocates $70,000 to make changes to the current memorial at Eagle Park – which recognizes only World War II vets – to honor all veterans for their service. Another memorial in Pioneer Park pays tribute to vets from World Wars I and II, Korea and Vietnam.

The Eagle Park additions would expand the memorial to recognize all veterans, including those who served in the Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

The proposal arose from a 2012 council discussion following dedication of the post office, named after fallen Mountain View soldier First Lt. Kenneth Ballard. The city’s Human Relations Commission has collaborated with local veterans groups, including American Legion Post 558, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 419, Veterans Helping Veterans and Vietnam vets, to find an inclusive solution.

“They support having a memorial for veterans in Mountain View that collects the existing memorials into one location,” according to the Jan. 28 staff report.

Suggested wording on a new plaque included, “In recognition of all those who have served and are serving in the armed forces of the United States of America.”

The veterans groups plan to work with the city and have offered to organize, raise $5,000 to $10,000 toward the costs, confirm the inscribed text and service valor and coordinate the installation of a “buy-a-brick” program.

City officials recommended Eagle Park because it already has a veterans memorial that includes a flagpole and lights.

“It also offers a serene atmosphere with a semicircular wall that provides a sound barrier to the park as well as a location for the buy-a-brick element and military emblems,” the staff report stated. “Additionally, a water fountain is located within hearing distance of the memorial. This site is publicly visible, it has low likelihood for vandalism, it is easily accessible with nearby handicap parking and flat terrain, and it offers a serene atmosphere for reflection and requires limited adjustments.”

Ken Newman of American Legion Post 558, who is coordinating the effort, said the target date for opening the new memorial is Veterans Day 2015.

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