Marine Corps League
of Oakhurst

Ahwahnee Hills Regional Park Veterans Memorial

Sierra News Online • June 14, 2017

By Veterans, For Veterans:
A Monumental Accomplishment

AHWAHNEE — Today was a celebration of our veterans from all branches of the United States Armed Forces, and also a recognition of what can be accomplished through the hard work and dedication of a group of veterans and local citizens.

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In 2016, I attended a dedication of a flag pole with both the American and the POW/MIA Flag. There is a small black granite plaque which read "Veterans 4 Veterans 2014".

I felt that this was not really a memorial for all veterans as something was missing. I investigated what constitutes a Veterans Memorial and viewed untold numbers via the internet both in the USA and Europe. After weeks of reviewing, I felt that to make this a valid veterans memorial it should contain the service flags of the five (5) major branches of the military which would surround the present 40 ft. flag pole.

After weeks of investigating, I met with Mr. Tony Ward, a member of the Ahwahnee Hills Regional Park board of directors and explained my thoughts of having a veteran’s memorial located at the park. As there is no known Veterans Memorial in Eastern Madera County. I was fortunate enough to have Mr. Ward agree to do an architectural drawing of my idea after he presented it to his board.

My proposal to the Marine Corps League and the Veterans of Foreign Wars organizations in Oakhurst with the drawing of the idea was met with an approval by both Veterans’ groups to split costs for purchase of the following (5-20 ft. telescoping flag poles with a solar light for each in addition to both Military service flags and American flags; with a 9-inch gold eagle at the top of each pole).

Flag Poles and accessories were ordered thru Uncommon USA, after ordering them, I received a phone call from the CEO of the company inquiring what I planned to do with such a large order. After explaining my plans for a Veterans Memorial, I was given a number of discounts resulting in a significant savings for the veteran’s organization.

With help from friends’ I was fortunate to meet various groups in the area who agreed to help with the project. The E. Clampus Vitus Grub Gulch Chapter #41-49 of CA. agreed to help with the laying of the cement needed in addition to other work that may be needed as the project progressed. This is a group of individuals who as an organization is known throughout California for building roadside plaques honoring significant historical events in California. Numerous individuals and organizations are supporting this project thru physical and financial donations towards it’s success.