|Chandler to dedicate Veterans Memorial on May 30
Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, will be extra special this year as the community comes together at 8 a.m. to dedicate the first phase of Chandler’s Field of Honor Veterans Memorial located on the northeast corner of Chandler Heights and Lindsay roads. Area veterans and residents are encouraged to attend.
“This permanent memorial honors the dedication and love of country shown by all those patriots from the Southeast Valley who have served in the armed forces,” Mayor Jay Tibshraeny said. “It is a place where individuals, families and groups of various sizes can express their love and appreciation for our veterans.”
The dedication ceremony will include remarks by Mayor Jay Tibshraeny, music by the Chandler Fire, Health & Medical Department Pipes & Drums Corps, Posting of Colors by the Gila River Pee Posh Veterans Association and Pledge of Allegiance by retired Lt. Colonel David Althoff, a Chandler resident and pilot who served in Korea, Japan and Vietnam, earning 76 medals and decorations. The invocation will be led by local pastor and Air Force veteran Dr. Michael D. Sproul.
The memorial has been years in the making as donations have been sought to fund the design and construction of the project. Workshops were held with veterans to develop the concept of the memorial with the goal of providing a space for remembrance and reflection. Construction of the initial phase was funded in large part by a $500,000 donation from the Gila River Indian Community, in addition to $173,000 in private donations and some City funds.
The completed first phase includes a family plaza overlook that replicates the Arizona State Flag and features low walls with inscriptions recognizing six core values significant to veterans and their families: Freedom, Reflection, Recognition, Sacrifice, Family and Memories. A donor recognition area and parking lot also are included. As additional funds are available, remaining phases will include the construction of rows of pillars that replicate the U.S. Flag in an open field.
“This memorial space pays tribute to all branches of the U.S. military and recognizes not only the men and women who stood watch, but also their supportive family members who made their own sacrifices on behalf of our Country,” Mayor Tibshraeny said.
The memorial is part of the 113-acre Veterans Oasis Park that includes a stocked urban fishing lake surrounded by walking trails, picnic areas and play areas for kids. The park also features an Environmental Education Center (EEC) that has classrooms, a nature discovery room, exhibit areas and a nature store. Other features include a police substation and recessed wetlands area that recharges excess reclaimed water piped to the area in the winter months when demand for the water is low.