Veterans’ Memorial construction nears completion

Saddleback Fine Arts student Emilia Sadeghi helps out with prepping the ceramic tiles that will be a part of the memorial. (David Bro)

Shannon Merrell

Construction of the Saddleback College Veteran’s Memorial is in its final stages. The Saddleback College Foundation recently embarked on the audacious task of raising the $100,000 needed to complete the memorial. To do this, the College Foundation is selling bricks which will be engraved with names, businesses, quotes, or whatever the purchaser so wishes.

The bricks will align the walkway of the memorial, and cost $100 for each line engraved, or three lines for $250. The Saddleback College Foundation has purchased 800 bricks, and has sold 175 so far. Students and faculty may also purchase a 12 inch-by-12 inch square from the walkway for $1,000. The squares hold up to nine lines. Proceeds from the bricks and squares will go directly to the expense of the memorial. Anyone interested in purchasing a brick is encouraged to call the College Foundation office at (949) 582-4479.

Many generous donations have been made on the memorial’s part. Local cities have donated $5,000 benches, which will surround the memorial so that students may sit and admire the magnificent beauty. The Orange County Association of Realtors has donated a $25,000 flagpole for the respect and remembrance of this nation’s Veterans. The Laguna Clay Company donated over 200 lbs of clay, which is being molded into tiles covering the memorial’s wall by student volunteers.

Nancy Cho, the fundraiser for the memorial, explained that the Saddleback Veteran’s Memorial would be “one of the first Veteran’s Memorials on a college campus in Orange County”.
“We’re hoping to have a dedication on April 30, 2009,” said Michelle Anstadt, director of the Saddleback College Foundation. Once completed, the memorial will be a lecture site used by professors as well as a place of remembrance.
“I hope students now and in the future will comprehend the relationship between the veterans who serve our country and public institutions of higher learning such as Saddleback College,” said Richard McCullough, associate instructor and former president of Saddleback College.  McCullough is credited as the brains behind the operation of the memorial.
“A true democracy can only survive with a strong military and a population having access to institutions of higher learning,” McCullough said. “Saddleback College and all other public institutions of higher learning owe a great debt to the veterans who have protected our democracy throughout history.”
The memorial will feature a waterfall spouting from the memorial’s walls, as well as a light fixture, which will remain lit 24 hours. It is expected to be completed before summer semester begins.

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