Situated on the southwest corner of Veterans Oasis Park, the Field of Honor pays tribute to the Southeast Valley’s past, present and future veterans. The Field of Honor is the first veterans memorial of its size and scope in the Southeast Valley. The memorial space honors all veterans from all branches of the U.S. military. It highlights a wide range of American history, serves as an educational resource, and provides a solemn and inspiring experience for all ages.
The natural, recessed setting within Veterans Oasis Park offers a peaceful space for reflection and a place where individuals, families and groups of various sizes can express their love and appreciation for our veterans.
The memorial consists of an upper and lower level. The lower level of the memorial is designed to match the exact ratio of the American Flag. Stone plinths (columns) of various heights map out the flag’s stars and stripes. The plinths are constructed in a rolling landform to emulate the flag as it ripples blowing in the wind.
The stone plinths lined up in formation were designed to signify soldiers marching in unison. Within the rising and falling landscape, the stones appear to slowly disappear and reappear, which is meant to represent soldiers going off to war and returning home. Twenty-one of these cubes will be submerged entirely below the earth, symbolizing a twenty-one gun salute for soldiers who do not return from war.
The upper level features an elevated plaza overlooking the stars and stripes of the lower memorial. The overlook features a depiction of the star-shaped Arizona State flag. From the overlook, visitors can watch over the soldiers honored below and stand in solidarity while friends and loved ones are away. The upper-level star also represents the service flag of war mothers, which is hung in home windows when an immediate family member is serving in the military.
The monument was designed to represent six unique memorial themes: freedom, recognition, reflection, sacrifice, memories and family.
Freedom: When gathering input from the residents of Chandler about the future of the monument, the American Flag was consistently identified as a symbol of freedom. The lower level of the memorial was designed to be the exact ratio of the flag.
Recognition: The monument offers recognition for local, state and national veterans. The elevated overlook is reminiscent of the Arizona State Flag, while the lower level replicates the American Flag to honor those who have served.
Reflection: The City’s primary goal for the space is to provide a location to offer individuals and groups the opportunity for personal reflection. The memorial was designed to accommodate various group sizes and provide privacy from the rest of the park.
Sacrifice: The stone plinths signify soldiers marching in unison. As they rise and fall into the earth, they represent soldiers going off to war and returning home. Twenty-one of these cubes submerged below the earth symbolize the sacrifice of soldiers who do not return from war.
Memories: As the space lives on, there will be an opportunity to record personal memories and tributes within the blocks and walls of the memorial.
Family: The upper-level observation space represents the metaphor of loved ones watching over soldiers while they are away. The star also represents the War Mother’s Service flag, which families hang in their windows to indicate an immediate family member is away on duty.
Williams Air Force Base Memorial Plane
A Chandler icon, the monument featuring a Korean War-era fighter plane previously located in Downtown Chandler at the corner of Chandler Boulevard and Delaware Street, was relocated to the Veterans Oasis Park to honor the history of Arizona’s Williams Air Force Base and overlook the Field of Honor.
The plane features a plaque honoring the officers and airmen who served at the base, which was located east of Chandler and active from 1941 to 1993.
When in operation, off-duty soldiers frequented the amenities of Downtown Chandler for recreation and leisure. Many men and women stationed at Williams Air Force Base moved to Chandler following service and have built their lives here. The presence of the base is engrained in the history of Chandler itself.