As rain fell lightly outside, over 200 community members gathered inside Campbell City Hall on Friday, November 11. There, the city unveiled a memorial paying homage to veterans and military personnel currently serving.
“This is not the Campbell memorial, but rather a memorial in Campbell,” said James Free, head of the Campbell Veterans Memorial Foundation, which began working on the project in 2007. He referred to the memorial’s significance not only to locals, but to the many past and present military personnel around the world.
The memorial “will be a place to remember and reflect, while providing education for our youth and to inspire Campbell and the surrounding communities to honor those who have served in the preservation of our freedom,” according to its mission statement.
During the past year, various city commissions as well as the Council, unanimously approved the monument’s design by Artik Art and Architecture. The company then selected San Jose-based TBI Construction to build the nearly $700,000 monument that will stand adjacent to City Hall.
When completed, the memorial wall will be in the form of a wall encircling an olive tree. This not only serves as a symbol of peace but also “as a reminder that Campbell was an agricultural city whose citizens came home from war, took up the tools of their orchards and returned to a life of community service,” according to the Memorial Foundation.
“I think the memorial is fantastic. There should be more of them,” said Joe Dennis, a World War II Veteran and longtime Campbell resident, after the event.
“The memorial is such an eloquent statement about the community,” said Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, who was invited to the event as a keynote speaker.
Anyone can sponsor a brick in the wall, providing a lasting reminder to those who have served, said Free. During the event, a father who lost his son in Iraq was given a brick, as was the wife of a soldier killed in action in Iraq in 2009.
Dr. Francis Harvey, Former Secretary of the United States Army, delivered the keynote speech Former Campbell Mayor Dan Furtado, a retired colonel in the United States Army, emceed the event, which included military flag raisings and a performance by the Del Mar High School marching band.