Veterans memorial still in the works

DOWNEY - A planned monument paying tribute to Downey's military veterans will be overseen by a soon-to-be-established non-profit foundation, city officials said this week.The monument has been in the planning stages for at least two years, since Mayor Pro Tem Roger Brossmer announced his desire for a memorial on Veterans Day 2009, when the city unveiled its first batch of street banners honoring active military personnel. The monument is expected to cost up to $200,000 and will likely be located in the Civic Center. City officials expect to use a combination of Public Art funds and community donations to finance the project, Brossmer said. City officials have visited memorials in neighboring cities and seemed most impressed with the "clean simpleness" of a memorial in Cerritos, said Councilman Mario Guerra, who, with Brossmer, sits on the city's veterans memorial subcommittee. The Cerritos memorial consists of a 20-ft. tall stainless steel sculpture sitting on a circular piece of black granite. The monument also includes a water feature, surrounded by five podiums for speaking engagements. The memorial pays tribute to all branches of the U.S. military. "We want the Downey memorial to be artistic in nature," said Brossmer. "Staff will be working with different artists to develop some concepts. But we don't need to reinvent the wheel on this one at all." Brossmer said a 501 (C) will be in place "within the next few months," after which a board of directors will be named to oversee the foundation. Then final decisions will be made on design elements and placement. "By this time next year we hope to have broken ground on it," Guerra said. "We want to get this going sooner rather than later."

********** Published: May 19, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 5