EL CENTRO — Imperial County residents were encouraged to honor a Veteran who has served in the United States Armed Services by engraving the honorees’ information on the Veterans Memorial Wall at Bucklin Park. The City of El Centro offers the opportunity through May 7, for engravings to be completed by Memorial Day — May 31.
Applicants must show proof of service documents. Engraving services can be purchased through the City for $200. Since the wall’s construction several years ago, Community Services Economic Development Director Adriana Nava said they have been offering the engraving services to eventually fill all 168 spaces on the wall.
As the wall is nearly complete, 51 spaces remain. Nava said the City is hoping to offer additional engraving opportunities in the future by beautifying the back side of the wall as well, allowing the engravements to wrap the entirety of the wall.
“We have a Veteran’s Memorial Wall at Bucklin Park and we’ve had this wall now for a couple of years. Overtime, we’ve been filling up the spaces … We are working on making both sides of the wall equally as beautiful, equally as connected,” said Nava.
The engravement includes the individual’s name and the option to include the branch name and dates served.
“We are working on trying to expand the number of spaces just because its seems like it’s something that the community desires, and in the past when we’ve had small ceremonies, people really like coming together and celebrating either Veterans that are alive or those who have passed away, and who have some local ties — because some of them now live in other places, but they still want to be remembered in their hometown,” said Nava.
In addition to the City’s own memorial wall, the Mobile Vietnam Memorial Wall that was anticipated to visit Bucklin Park March 26-30 in 2020, will be making its appearance this November.
The moving wall is a replica of the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington D.C. The replica is half the size of the wall in D.C. and travels throughout the country every year. Imperial County will see the wall due to donations from the County, Imperial Valley Breakfast Rotary Club, and VFW Post 9305.
A week of activities are being planned surrounding the arrival of the mobile wall in November and is expected to occur during Cattle Call week. Nava said the City’s Community Services Economic Development Department is working to organize the events and inform the community about the different activities.