Editor’s note: A second Santa Clarita City Council vote on a proposed Fallen Warriors Memorial, this one to expand the planned memorial in Newhall, is expected to come before the council in January. George Orwell famously said, “We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” I am writing this letter in defense of the 50 Santa Clarita residents who gave their lives to protect this great country and whom we will honor at the SCV Fallen Warriors Monument. This letter is in defense of all who are gone, but who should never be forgotten. This letter is for the ones who paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms so we can sleep soundly at night. This letter is for the ones who volunteered to do something about the evil that is prevalent in this world. All veterans, whether old or young, who served in combat share this bond with each other called brotherhood; they have seen and done things that no average person would even dream or think about doing. America is losing veterans in many different ways – whether lack of care, suicide, killed in action, or even dying in a horrible accident within this country. We need to remember history because soon, we will no longer have these brave Marines, sailors, airmen and soldiers. Everywhere we see monuments in memory or recognition of ordinary people who became heroes. To collectively recognize the 50 brave local service members who gave their lives to protect this great nation, we need our city leaders to ensure the Fallen Warriors Monument is expanded to include the pergola extension and lights that will illuminate this place of honor during the night. All that is left is that our honorable City Council members to act on this extension of the monument work. I have interviewed a couple of my friends who also served, and an Army reservist who serves in the 426th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne) told me: “What are you waiting for? Let’s get the ball rolling and extend that pergola and light up that monument!” This monument is for the people who live on, so that we can have something tangible to look back on to honor our fallen – whether it’s a loved one or a brother in arms. A fellow combat veteran, who served with 1/8 in Operation Phantom Fury through the initial push into Fallujah, argues: “I do not understand why they haven’t approved of this extension project yet.” I would like to humbly extend my complete gratitude and thanks to our city leaders for approving the memorial this past Aug. 23. The least we can do for our Fallen Heroes is extend this beautiful monument in a beautiful setting. You may ask, “Why? Why should we care?” There can be only one answer. Because it is the noble thing to do. It is only a tiny gesture of remembrance and honor to those who volunteered their lives to protect this great country. They deserve so much more! But at the very least, enhancing this monument is the least that we can do, and if we have the means to do so, then why not? Please consider extending our honorable monument in a distinguished and noble setting under the vine arbor. I urge all residents of the Santa Clarita Valley to speak out and encourage the City Council to give the green light so that we may extend the SCV Fallen Warriors Monument pergola and install the lights; in advanced thank you for your time and consideration.