EL CENTROÂ â€“ 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.
â€œThis project had been one year in the making and I want to thank my colleagues for supporting me on this venture,â€ said El Centro mayor Jason Jackson. â€œHonoring our veterans and military for the services they provide for us was long overdue in the city of El Centro.â€
Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia reminded those present that veterans should be thanked daily and not just on Veterans Day.
â€œVeterans Day is an important symbol of our countryâ€™s veterans of men and women who have served this nation,â€ said Garcia. â€œAs 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.â€
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.
â€œWe veterans are a family and itâ€™s amazing to see what this city has done for us,â€ said Commander Anacleto TreviÃ±o 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 Centroâ€™s general fund.
â€œThis veterans’ memorial was a vision, an idea, and Erickson Hall Construction took my vision and made it into a reality,â€ 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.
â€œWe have a special account for the proceeds of the challenge coins, which we will use for the long term maintenance for this memorial,â€ said Jackson.