Veterans Historical Plaza in Newhall is expected to be filled with veterans and community members on Nov. 8 for the unveiling of the Fallen Warriors Monument.
Now that the city council has approved the monument’s final design and wording, the next step is for construction of the monument and pergola to begin in order to have the memorial completed in time for Veteran’s Day.
“It’s going to be a wonderful ceremony,” Bill Reynolds, who serves as The Signal’s director of veterans affairs and spearheaded the project said. “It’s one I want to celebrate, but at the same time I want it to be solemn.”
The 10 a.m. ceremony will be conducted in military fashion with an invocation from former chaplain Amos Clemmons, a presentation from the Marines Corps color guard and a bugler.
Names of each of the fallen warriors will be read aloud by a veteran who served in the same war.
“I get so emotional thinking about it,” Reynolds said. “What it means to me, as a combat soldier who lost a lot of friends, is more than I can say.”
The monument will honor veterans who were killed in action in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The community’s support is so special, but it’s even more special to our Gold Star families,” he said.
Much of the delay in finalizing the wording on the project was due to a lack of vetted World War I names, though Reynolds went through several agencies in an attempt to find them.
Instead of leaving the column empty, council members decided Tuesday to proceed without the WWI heading and to make the phrase “honoring all known and unknown Santa Clarita Valley residents” more prominent on the monument as to recognize any names that could have fallen through the cracks.
Reynolds said he went to the city council meeting Tuesday confident that the memorial would be approved without the WWI heading.
“In reality, compromise has been part of the entire process,” Reynolds said. “That’s a win. This is going to happen the way I’d like it to happen.”
Construction of the monument will officially begin on Sept. 11.
“We are well underway toward construction,” city Project Manager Julia Regan said.
Since construction was arranged prior to the council meeting Tuesday, Regan said the council’s decision did not make the construction process go any faster or slower.
The city has been procuring materials for a while now, Regan said, and the city will continue to ensure the materials are handled as the project progresses.