With fundraising just about completed, Two Strike memorial wall is one step closer to construction.
By Mary O’KEEFE
This week, residents who frequent Two Strike Park on Rosemont Avenue may have noticed the memorial plaque taken down. The removal is the first step in the construction of the new Two Strike Park Memorial Wall.
“We didn’t want the community to be concerned if they saw the plaque was gone,” said Mike Baldwin, Vietnam veteran and member of the Two Strike Park Memorial Committee.
The plaque will be reconditioned and reinstalled after the new memorial is completed.
The path to a new memorial began a few years back just as the economy began its downturn. American Legion Post 288 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1614 members worked to raise funds for a new memorial but it was not the right time in the economy to start such a large project.
“We were struggling to say the least,” Baldwin said.
In 2011, veterans reached out to the community and organizations to create a committee to start fundraising again. This time, it has been very successful. With a goal of $75,000, the committee has raised over $60,000.
“Everyone got behind us,” Baldwin said.
They received help from community members, local officials and businesses like Home Depot and Forest Lawn.
Presently the memorial at Two Strike Park is small and does not allow any additional names to be added on the wall. The new design provides space for the names of Crescenta Valley military to be added who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Names of Crescenta Valley military who have died while serving are continuing to be collected by committee members.
“We have additional spots on the wall,” Baldwin said.
The next fundraiser for the memorial is the 5K Run to Remember on April 6 at Crescenta Valley Park. Participants are asked to arrive at 7:30 a.m. to register. The run begins at 8:15 a.m. There is a $20 entry fee per person. For those who wish to support the memorial but do not want to run, donations are being taken and credited as entry fees for students in the area who wish to run.
“Through the donations, we are able to cover the entry fees for Rosemont PWR club at Rosemont [Middle School],” Baldwin said.
He added that with more donations they could help high school runners as well.
Forest Lawn is donating the bronze nameplates and has agreed to install them on the wall.
The committee does need help with some of the names that have been submitted.
“Some of these names were given to us years ago,” Baldwin said. “We are not challenging the names, but do need more information.”
Committee members have searched through genealogy websites and have found information for a few of the names, but still need help from the public.
Birth dates are needed for Capt. Harvey F. Carter, U.S. Marine Corps; Pfc. Robert H. Conway, U.S. Army; First Lt. Harrison E. Squires, U.S. Army Air Corps.; Pvt. Donald E. Wood, U.S. Army, AOM 3; Lewis E. Manning, U.S. Navy. The date of death is needed for Capt. William G. Smith, U.S. Marine Corps.
If anyone has information on these names or would like more information on the Two Strike Park Memorial Wall, visit the website at www.twostrikememorial.org or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or mail American Legion Post 288, P.O. Box 223, Montrose, CA 91021.