Cover Story - May 27, 2005
Long awaited All Wars Memorial to be dedicated at Oak Hill Park
by Casey Reivich
This Memorial Day will be especially momentous for veterans of the San Ramon Valley. On May 30, the new All Wars Memorial will be formally unveiled and handed over to the town of Danville.
The Viet Nam Veterans of Diablo Valley first conceived of the idea of a war memorial in the San Ramon Valley in 1991. The town of Danville donated space for the memorial, but the veterans group needed to raise funding for construction and material costs. Despite the initial enthusiasm, the project languished for years.
More than 10 years later, in April 2003, the All Wars Memorial Foundation was established. The new foundation is made up of local veterans, businessmen and elected officials.
The foundation re-evaluated the stalled project and assessed that the biggest stumbling block was location. The town originally donated the land on the ridge at Oak Hill Park, 3005 Stone Valley Road. At first, this location seemed suitable because of its view. On second glance, however, foundation members figured out that the elevated location not only increased construction costs but was also difficult to access.
Foundation members went back to the town of Danville and asked if the memorial location could be changed.
They finally decided on the naturally bowl-shaped area below the ridge that looks out onto the pond at Oak Hill Park. It would be convenient for people to get to, but set back from the play area and Monte Vista High School.
With the help of high-powered supporters like David Behring and Joe Raphel, the All Wars Memorial Foundation was finally able to raise funds for its $2 million project. The funding came from donations of money and construction materials, and funds raised through the sale of commemorative granite pavers.
The memorial honors all those who served or are currently serving in the armed forces and their families. It consists of a three-paneled granite quotation wall, a statue of two soldiers, a walkway lined with bronze reliefs, and a flagpole with the flag raised at all times.
The Memorial Day celebration at Oak Hill Park kicks off at 11 a.m. The featured speaker is retired Staff Sgt. John Cavaiani who received the Medal of Honor for his service in the Vietnam War. There will also be a concert from the Air National Guard Band's "Band of the West'' and a flyover.
Retired Maj. Gen. Dan Helix will preside over the dedication ceremony of the All Wars Memorial, which will begin roughly at noon.
Memorial Day dedication
What: All Wars Memorial
When: 11 a.m., Monday, May 30
Where: Oak Hill Park, 3005 Stone Valley Road
Dedication ceremony: Approximately noon