Veterans sculpture to be installed before Memorial Day

DOWNEY - A 10-ft. tall sculpture paying tribute to United States military veterans will be installed between City Hall and the library in time for a Memorial Day event this year, city officials said Tuesday.The monument, designed by James T. Russell Sculpture, is similar to a veteran's memorial in Cerritos. The Downey sculpture incorporates a 10-ft. tall stainless steel, abstract "eternal flame" within a 15-ft. pentagonal pool. Five raised pedestals with large brass coins inset on top of each pedestal will pay tribute to each branch of the U.S. armed forces. Total cost for the sculpture is $300,000, which the city will pay for using public art funds. The total does not including decorative paving and bench seating that could cost an additional $50,000, officials estimated. Brian Saeki, community development director for Downey, said he was "confident" the city could collect enough donations "to not only cover the costs for the site work, but could potentially offset a portion of the cost for the fabrication of the memorial." "In the unlikely event that the costs for the site work could not be raised, the installation of the memorial would be delayed until sufficient funds are received," Saeki wrote in a staff report. The sculpture was designed by James T. Russell, in conjunction with a city subcommittee that included Mayor Roger Brossmer, Councilman Mario Guerra, planning commissioner Mike Murray, and local residents Rick Rodriguez and Johnny Venegas.

********** Published: March 15, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 48