By Mary O’KEEFE
Another step has been taken toward the completion of the Two Strike Park Memorial Wall. On Tuesday morning, the Los Angeles County Dept. of Parks and Recreation met veterans at the Crescenta Valley Water District Rosemont Reservoir to move the two tall flagpoles stored there to Two Strike Park.
After seven years of working on design, logistics and fundraising, each advancement in the wall’s progress is celebrated, but the flagpoles’ placement was a major symbol of
Andy and Marie Gero purchased and donated the flagpoles for the wall back in April 2012.
“This was really something we did together,” Andy said. “American Legion, the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) and the community.”
Several veterans who have been with the project from its beginning were on site as the poles went up.
“Can you believe this?” asked Mike Baldwin, Vietnam veteran.
Actually this has been the question Baldwin has asked at every step forward along the memorial wall way. Other veterans shake their heads as if in shock that the wall is actually being built.
“Our first [fundraising] letter went out just as the economy took a downturn,” Baldwin said.
A little over a year ago, the group joined forces with Lt. Col. Dave Worley, the Crescenta Valley High School JROTC and members of the community. That union evolved into community 5K runs, dances at a makeshift USO canteen and Bingo games that raised money for the wall to be constructed.
That the wall is much more than a structure was evident to the veterans who watched the flagpoles installed. It represents their continuing effort to support their fellow brothers, and sisters, in arms. Anyone who spends just a short time with these servicemen can feel the camaraderie and respect for one another.
There is not a completion date set for the wall as the group waits on various delivery dates for materials.
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