PRESS RELEASE Stiglich CA01: Air Force Memorial Planned for Veterans Cemetery
A sub-committee of the Northern Calfornia Veterans Cemetery Support Group has been formed responsible for construction and placement of an Air Force Memorial at the cemetery in honor of all those who have served or are currently serving in the United States Air Force.
The attached official articles (with and without photo) prepared by the committee is provided for your use, as appropriate.
Your publication of this veterans-related project would be greatly appreciated.
Air Force Memorial Planned for Veterans Cemetery
“Into the Wild Blue Yonder”
Northern California Veterans Cemetery in Igo, California is a place of honor, dignity, reverence and reflection. It’s a very special place, especially to America’s military veterans, their families and friends. A quiet, yet uniquely proud, place. A place where many of our nation’s heroic soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guardsmen have come to rest with their comrades-in-arms.
One day in the not too distant future, five new memorials will be incrementally added to these hallowed grounds. One memorial for each of the five military services, including the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. They will be placed geometrically around the cemetery’s main flag circle, the favored site of such programs as Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Wreaths Across America.
In November 2011, Secretary Peter J. Gravett, California Department of Veterans Affairs, formally approved the service memorial project concept. Included in this approval was the go-ahead to begin work on the first of the
five service memorials, this one dedicated to the men and women of the United States Air Force. If things go as planned, a dedication ceremony of the Air Force memorial is slated for 2013.
“Although it will be the first service-oriented monument at the state-operated facility, it will likely not be the last”, said Stephen Jorgensen, cemetery administrator.
“We included the concept of memorials for all five branches of service — the Air Force, Navy, Marines, Army and Coast Guard — along with this proposal and that concept has been approved by Secretary Gravett. Now we have a place for each service memorial and we have set parameters for height and size for all of them,” Jorgensen explained.
The 14-foot tall bronze and stainless steel memorial, a symbol of the Air Force’s history and mission, is titled “Into the Wild Blue Yonder”. When constructed, it will include a bronze globe 6-feet in diameter resting atop a 3-foot high pyramid with an 8-foot square base. Encircling the globe and thrusting 6 to 8-feet upward will be a stainless steel contrail or aircraft path ending in a deltoid-shaped aerospace vehicle.
“Each side of the pyramid base will feature a different inscription including a memorial dedication, an explanation of the memorial’s symbolism, lyrics to the Air Force song and the evolution of the Air Force”, explained retired Air Force Colonel Pete Stiglich of Cottonwood, who is chairing the Air Force memorial committee comprised of local veterans and civilians. Assisting with design development is local artist/sculptor, Gideon Carl Turner III, of Redding.
“What we are doing is creating a shrine to our Veterans, both living and dead,” Jorgensen explained. “It has never been my vision for this place to simply be a cemetery. A shrine must contain a variety of memorials where people can come to appreciate the history, sacrifice and military contributions of the countless veterans who have served our country so unselfishly.”
Kellie Jokela, who chairs the Northern California Veterans Cemetery Support Board, said of the Air Force monument, “I cannot think of a better way to show our appreciation for the dedication of those who served in the U.S. Air Force than to have a memorial erected in their honor,” Jokela said.
Fundraising is underway to cover the costs of creating the memorial and constructing it on-site at the veterans cemetery. Inscribed pavers are being sold that will be used to create the pad upon which the memorial will be placed. Donations are also being accepted from individuals and corporations. Other fundraising opportunities are being planned.
Anyone interested in learning more about the Air Force memorial or wishing to purchase an inscribed paver for a loved is invited to visit the Air Force Memorial’s official website at www.usafmemorial.org. Donations can be mailed to NCVC-SB, P.O. Box 177, Redding, CA 96099-0177. Please make checks payable to NCVC-SB, and indicate on the memo line the donation is intended for the Air Force Memorial project.
If you’d prefer to make personal contact, please call Colonel Pete Stiglich.