On Wednesday, Veterans Historical Plaza will officially be home to the long-awaited Fallen Warriors Monument.
Just three days before Veterans Day, the unveiling ceremony will bring together veterans, their loved ones and community members who funded and supported the two-year project.
“It’s such a special thing for our gold star families and our community,” Bill Reynolds, who spearheaded the project said. “It was a little overwhelming with all of the community support.”
In an ironic twist, however, the community member who proposed the project and brought it to fruition will be unable to attend the ceremony on Nov. 8.
Reynolds, The Signal’s Director of Veterans Affairs, has been invited to meet President Donald Trump on his trip to Vietnam this week and leaves Wednesday morning.
“Here I’ve been pushing and guiding to have this monument finished and all of a sudden, I realized I’m not going to be there,” Reynolds said.
Alongside Reynolds, local Marine Corps veteran Jim Hackett, Army veteran Bob Good, Navy SEAL and Marine Corps veteran Max Morgan and F4 Phantom Fighter Pilot veteran Dan Petkunas will be representing Santa Clarita on the trip.
The group was invited by Timothy Davis, founder of the Greatest Generations Foundation, who was asked by the White House to recruit Vietnam veterans for the occasion.
In fact, Reynolds received the call inviting him on the trip when he was at Veterans Historical Plaza preparing for the monument to be set in place in October.
In Reynolds’ place, Councilman Bob Kellar, a U.S. Army Special Forces veteran, will lead the ceremony.
“It has been an absolute labor of love for (Reynolds),” Kellar said. “I want to make sure this community has full appreciation for his work. Without his commitment, I’m not sure this ever would have happened.”
The monument is an important addition to the plaza and shows the city’s gratitude for its fallen soldiers, the councilman said.
“I have a complete appreciation for so many of our military members that have sacrificed and given so much for our families and our country,” Kellar said.
At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, the community is invited to celebrate the unveiling of the monument while solemnly recognizing those who gave their lives.
Veterans Historical Plaza is located at 24275 Walnut Street in Newhall.