Peace Memorial Coming To Woodlawn Cemetery In Santa Monica

Friday, 15 Feb 2013, 8:56:00 AM

Parimal M. Rohit

Santa

Monica will finally have a memorial dedicated to the residents who fought in

wars on behalf of the United States since the City’s incorporation.

Particularly

described as a “Peace Memorial” by Council member Kevin McKeown, the

commemorative wall will be erected at Woodlawn Cemetery, Mortuary, and

Mausoleum. The council unanimously approved the memorial Feb. 12.

The

memorial will be located in front of the mausoleum entrance and is expected to

cost between $7,500 and $15,000. City Hall plans to conduct a fund raising

campaign in order to fund the memorial’s construction.

According

to research conducted by City Hall, at least 97 Santa Monica residents fought

and died in war since incorporation.

Design

options of the peace memorial will be officially unveiled at the annual

Memorial Day remembrance at Woodlawn Cemetery. This year’s event, scheduled for

March 27, marks the 75th anniversary of the remembrance. City staff said the symbolic

event “provides the occasion to launch an effort for such a memorial on the

cemetery grounds” and would “garner support for the project.”

The

memorial’s design would be “a respectful and elegant wall,” according to City

staff.

“It was

suggested that the commemoration could be a simple wall or a plaque that

included these initial 97 names with room for additional names that might be

identified through additional research,” City staff added.

City

staff pointed out the budget for the current fiscal year did not include a line

item to fund this project. Even more, the budgets through 2015 would not be

able to accommodate financing for this project. 

“The

Cemetery fund has significantly reduced its reliance on the General Fund this

year, but it is still anticipating the need for some General Fund subsidy,”

City staff stated. “The funds for this project would be collected through a

fundraising campaign.”

As

recommended by City staff, the peace memorial would be located at “the small

lawn area directly adjacent to the primary entrance to the Mausoleum facing

Pico Boulevard … west of the front door of the Mausoleum building and is

located at the end of the southernmost entrance.”

“This

area would be appropriate for a small scale commemoration situated on a wall

enhancing the decorative nature of the building and the existing stained-glass

window providing additional presence,” City staff stated. “Placement of a

commemoration wall here would decrease the size of the area and decrease the

number of available plots to be sold depending on the final design. The commemoration wall would increase the

value of the area, which is expected to offset the financial impact of having

fewer plots to sell.”

City

staff recommended this space for the memorial due to high visibility and easy

accessibility by the public.

Looking

ahead, City staff is expected to develop design concepts and refine cost

estimates. Veteran groups will be invited to provide input and garner

support for the project. The project should return to council with design

concepts and financial estimates prior to May 27.

In a

letter to council members, Jack Walter committed $1,000 to the fundraising

campaign and requested City Hall match that amount. According to City staff, an

anonymous donor reportedly committed another $1,000.

Mayor

Pam O’Connor and Mayor Pro Tem Terry O’Day were both absent from the memorial’s

discussion and vote; Council member Gleam Davis served as chair.

Copyright © 2011 by Santa Monica Mirror. All rights reserved.