Fallen soldier memorial slated for downtown Danville


A memorial statue dedicated to San Ramon Valley High grad Lance Cpl. Joshua "Chachi" Corral will officially be allowed on Hartz Avenue in front of the new Veterans Memorial Building. A "battlefield cross," the memorial would feature boots, a rifle and a helmet with two plaques -- one which describes the genesis of the battlefield cross and one dedicating the memorial to Chachi.

"The consensus among the Town Council was that they wanted to move forward with having this memorial based on the support from the community and veterans associations," said Nat Rojanasathira, assistant to the town manager.

Shortly after Chachi's death on Nov. 18 in Afghanistan, volunteers mobilized to raise funds for the $10,000 memorial statue which will sit on a granite base and be up-lit to glow at night. Surplus funds raised for the memorial will be funneled into the Semper Fi Foundation, which is dedicated to supporting deployed military members, gold star families and special needs of veterans and their families.

"It's going to be a nice thing in Chachi's memory to make sure we take care of his Marines as he'd want us to do," said Len Hack, executive director of the Fallen Soldier Memorial and Semper Fi Foundation. "Fundraising has been robust….There's been such an overwhelming response, I think it's hard to go through downtown and find a business that doesn't have a sticker that says 'I support the Danville fallen soldier memorial.'"

There will be an official dedication on March 7 -- the date symbolic for the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines weapons unit that Corral served in -- but the statue won't officially debut on the building's northeast cover until mid or late April when the Vets Hall reopens. Still, Hack said he was impressed with the speed of the council's consensus.

"Basically in a 90 day period we took a project that was merely a thought after the loss of Chachi and we were able to bring awareness, fundraise and bring it to the town. Even they said yesterday that it was an amazing feat," he said.


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Posted by Alyson Colton
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Feb 16, 2012 at 6:41 am

What a beautiful tribute to our friend Chachi and to the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom since the creation of our Country. Thank you Len for all of your hard work in making this memorial a reality and also to our Town Council for their support.

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Posted by Gary
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Feb 16, 2012 at 8:27 am

Great example of what happens when a great group of committed, hard-working people band together and do something for a great cause. This will be a fine tribute to all fallen local soldiers. Hooray!

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Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Feb 16, 2012 at 9:09 am

This is a great example of why I live in Danville. Wonderful, appropriate display of respect for a true American hero. Sad thing is that Danville is probably one of the only towns in the Bay Area where the local politicians and community would "allow" this to be completed. Thank you, Danville, for keeping hope alive, of true American values.

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Posted by Supporter & Friend
a resident of Monte Vista High School
on Feb 16, 2012 at 9:48 am

What a great moment for the Corral family, the Town of Danville, and to our US Troops! So proud to live in this community!

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Posted by A Fellow Patriot
a resident of Alamo
on Feb 16, 2012 at 11:56 am

In all my 50+ years of being a member of our community, I have never before seen such support to honor a family or a military soldier like we all have done for the Corral Family and their loving son Chachi. LCpl Corral has left a lasting impression on our community that will be remembered for many generations to come. This Fallen Soldier Monument, that will bare his name, will be looked upon by all as a reminder that FREEDOM is not free. As each of us pass by this monument we will all reflect on a time when our community came together as one to HONOR CHACHI CORRAL and his Loving Family.... GODSPEED CHACHI

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Posted by Garret Conklin
a resident of another community
on Feb 16, 2012 at 9:08 pm

I'm glad the community is pulling together to honor the second Marine from Danville who lost his life in support of our country.

Lest it be forgotten, the first "son of Danville", in recent conflicts, was US Navy Corpsman James Anthony Cardinale, 27th Marines, a casualty of hostile fire at Quang Nam, South Viet Nam, on April 5, 1968, in the performance of his duty.

Might I respectfully suggest his sacrifice be recognized at the same time as his Brother Marine?

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Posted by Candy Hogan
a resident of Danville
on Feb 28, 2012 at 7:24 am

Thank you so much for keeping Chachi in our hearts forever. A place where we can all go and feel his/their presence. He has touched so many lives. All of these young men and women are so brave. The memorial will be so special to all of us in so many ways.

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Posted by Times sure have changed
a resident of Danville
on Feb 28, 2012 at 8:49 am

Back in the day everyone did their best to ignore anyone who served or died in Vietnam. The media, teachers, peacniks, draft dodgers, and Hollywood made soldiers the villains. Somehow, now, wiser heads prevail and we honor those who take the risk for their country. When Jim died there was nothing. No memorial, no plaque, nothing. What a shame and a lasting stain on our pc little town. It's good to see friends of Chachi have stood up for him. For Jim, Chachi and the many silent others who have given all, Thank You Danville....finally.

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Posted by First Psy Ops Viet Nam
a resident of another community
on Feb 28, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Dear Editor,

Over many years, there has been many misrepresentations of how USAmericans felt about those of us that served in Viet Nam. Quite clearly, our young men and women in that ill-conceived conflict were not disregarded by a majority of USAmericans then and now. The message was STOP the WAR and not disregard for the soldiers whose lives were wasted in that conflict.

I am quite sure you saw the recent ignorance that claimed Walter Cronkite mislead our nation into losing the war as if the majority of USAmerican didn't exist. You are too young to know that there was no war to win in what was a civil war to end the reign of leaders installed by the French, Portugese and others over 600 years of history that preceded our entry into such civil war conflicts.

So let's focus on reality of WAR as neither glorious nor heroic and wars in Asia which serve no great protection of USAmerica beyond our economic interests, and that is very much in doubt. We lost a young man, as the subject of this story, that was committed to serving his country. I hope we can serve his memory with exceptional respect for his life, his caring regard for his country and mostly his memory that will live within all of us that served.

Such a loss is no less painful now than seen in Viet Nam.

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Posted by SRV Grad
a resident of Danville
on Feb 28, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Jim Cardinale was my friend...thank you for remembering him.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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