EL CENTRO – Local dignitaries, veterans and community members made their way to the newly-constructed Veterans Memorial at Bucklin Park in El Centro Friday morning for a dedication ceremony and to pay tribute to the numerous fallen soldiers commemorating Memorial Day.
“This project had been one year in the making and I want to thank my colleagues for supporting me on this venture,” said El Centro mayor Jason Jackson. “Honoring our veterans and military for the services they provide for us was long overdue in the city of El Centro.”
Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia reminded those present that veterans should be thanked daily and not just on Veterans Day.
“Veterans Day is an important symbol of our country’s veterans of men and women who have served this nation,” said Garcia. “As elected officials we need to embrace our veterans every single day. We live in a country in which we have the freedoms that we do because of our men and women who have sacrifices and have given the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of this country.”
Over 100 people attended the event, including veterans from the American Legion Post 25 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9305, who were given the opportunity to express their gratitude.
“We veterans are a family and it’s amazing to see what this city has done for us,” said Commander Anacleto Treviño of American Legion Post 25.
The memorial consists of a five-sided black granite monument representing the five branches of the armed forces: Marine Corps, Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard, along with the branch’s designated flag and a larger American flag along with the VFW flag in the middle. A cobblestone walkway leads to the site and a walking path surrounds the monument along with a memorial wall and benches.
The construction was completed by Erickson Hall Construction at an approximate cost of $300,000, paid by El Centro’s general fund.
“This veterans’ memorial was a vision, an idea, and Erickson Hall Construction took my vision and made it into a reality,” said Jackson.
To commemorate the occasion and to fund maintenance of the memorial, veterans’ memorial dedication challenge coins were made and were available for purchase at $10.
“We have a special account for the proceeds of the challenge coins, which we will use for the long term maintenance for this memorial,” said Jackson.