The City is constructing a contemporary Veterans Memorial within Town Square Park to honor those that have served in this nation's defense and who have sacrificed their lives in service of the United States. The memorial will consist of seven granite monument walls, with an artist rendering of those wars and conflicts in which the U.S. has been engaged. The estimated cost of construction is approximately $2 million. Partial funding has already been committed by the City and additional funding will be raised through private fundraising efforts.
The purpose of this project is to create and maintain a dignified Veterans Memorial reflecting contributions made by veterans from all branches of the military throughout the history of the United States, and to acknowledge and honor the courage, commitment, and heroism demonstrated by all veterans past and present. This monument will be located at Murrieta Town Square Park, within the courtyard of the City Hall, the Police Department, the Murrieta Public Library, and the Senior Center. The convenient location will provide easy access to residents and visitors with ample parking. In addition, this monument will provide a picturesque backdrop to annual events that currently take place at Town Square Park. A committee of local residents meets monthly to provide ideas, create a mission statement, and review images to be etched onto the granite walls.
The concept for this monument is predicated on the fact that in each conflict, lives and countries were pulled into, abruptly interrupted by, and intertwined with moments of intense passion and conflict, commitment and escape, euphoria and desperation. A meandering decomposed granite path is designed to be at the base of the memorial walls, winding through the existing “V” pattern of Town Square Park to represent those feelings and commitments.
An obelisk with an inlaid granite American flag set in a base honoring the five levels of service (Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and Air Force) will be the highest visual identification of the memorial and will be easily seen throughout the plaza for all to identify. Seven individual walls of black granite will represent each conflict. These walls will be etched with images of those that served taken from pictures of actual events or from renderings. Each wall is set in a chronological timeline to be viewed from both pathways, but is also set to interrupt the decomposed granite path that links the monument walls. It is this interruption that symbolizes those struggles and abrupt interruption of life. The heights and shapes represented in the inclined and buried portions of the walls symbolize the moments of rise and fall in events that occurred during these conflicts.
A wall, dedicated in honor of those missing in action, is represented away from both main pathways in a shrub planter. Images of all five levels of service are etched into the granite.
The estimated construction costs are approximately $2 million. The City has committed $500,000 from the General Fund and Park Development Fee Accounts. The remaining $1.5 million will be raised through private fundraising efforts. Already, the City has received donations from private citizens, as well as a gift of $25,000 each from Northrop Grumman and from the County of Riverside, Supervisor Jeff Stone's office, all without a formal fundraising campaign.
Since May 2006, a Murrieta Veteran’s Memorial Committee has met each month to set parameters, create a mission statement, determine the type and style of the memorial, and contract with an architect. From June 2007 to the present time, the Committee has sifted through archival renderings and photographs for each conflict to be represented by the memorial, narrowing down the images to those that best “told the story” without written explanation of what it was like to have participated in that conflict. During this time, the architect took the Committee’s suggested images and designed 1:1 scale renderings for both World War II and the Vietnam Conflict. Furthermore, the Committee broke down the memorial into phases with Phase 1 to include the initial groundwork, staking, and surveying for the entire site as well as the construction of the obelisk and World War II wall. Phase 1 of the project is estimated at $500,000 with $100,000 of that designated for design and development of construction bid documents.
Phase 1 and Phase 2 (Korean War Memorial Wall) are complete and available for viewing during park operating hours of sunrise to sunset. A mock-up of Phase 3 (Vietnam War Memorial Wall) is available for viewing as well. The Committee and the Murrieta Veterans Memorial Foundation is actively seeking donations for its construction.