Planning and preparation for the Fallen Warriors Monument to be built this year in the Veteran’s Historical Plaza is in full swing, though a timeline is still to be decided.
According to project manager Julia Regan, the names of the warriors are still being vetted and the design and structure is still being finalized. Thus far, all 47 of the names approved for the monument have been vetted through Rep. Steve Knight’s office, according to Bill Reynolds who spearheaded the project.
“Finding the names and vetting the names is such a wildcard,” Regan said. “That is the hardest part.”
While 18 names have been verified from World War II, five from the Korean War, 14 from the Vietnam War and 10 from Iran and Afghanistan, no names have been vetted for World War I yet.
“We’re doing our best to move it along quickly, keeping in mind that we want to make sure it’s done right and it’s complete,” Regan said. “I feel optimistic that it’s moving along at a good pace and we want to make sure we get it right with the names and the plans and everything.”
The city of Santa Clarita will be responsible for all of the structural plans and materials surrounding the monument, including the construction of the pergola, electrical, lighting, seating, a walk way and the cement footing for the monument.
Bill Reynolds, who proposed the monument and serves as The Signal’s director of veteran affairs, is responsible for the monument itself.
Mayor Pro Tem Laurene Weste said she is determined to get a list of 15 to 17 names from WWI on the monument verified that she heard about from the historical society and was compiled by the women’s auxiliary. She said she does not want there to be any warriors forgotten or any mistakes made on the monument.
“We know that we participated heavily in this war in this community,” Weste said. “We will find the names, it’s just going to be hard work.”
Reynolds, however, said he worked with a researcher at the SCV historical society who said she could not find a list of names, but did recall someone seeing a list created in the 1920’s by a women’s club.
“It could have been a list of those who served in WWI, not necessarily those killed in action,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds proposed that the monument be finished by June 30 in time for the Independence Day parade, but a deadline has yet to be determined by the city.
“If this was finished by the July 4 parade, I think that would be perfect,” Reynolds said. “It would be better to have all the names before the monument is constructed.”
Just 71 days from the time the monument was announced, the community raised the $50,000 required for the monument, and there is currently $56,200 in funds from donations. The monument itself will cost $52,000 and the excess funds will go to the other needed materials surrounding the monument.
The cost of the project for everything except the monument itself will be approximately $84,500, which the city will pay for.
Community member and Vietnam War veteran Charlie Rasmussen, owner of C.A. Rasmussen, Inc., has pledged to contribute his company’s services to build the pergola and oversee all of the concrete work for the footing, according to Reynolds.
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