CANYON LAKE: Veterans memorial to be unveiled
By JIM ROTHGEB
Add Canyon Lake to the growing list of Southwest County cities that feature their own veterans memorial.
After three years of planning and fundraising, the city will unveil its memorial during a Veterans Day ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday in Towne Center, Canyon Lake’s main business district.
“This will be our dream place,” said Councilwoman Nancy Horton, who chairs the veterans memorial committee. “It will be a place where people can go to reflect on those who have served our country.”
The memorial is in the heart of Towne Center, in a pocket park that includes the Marty Gibson Walk of Fame. It will include a polished, black-granite monument, 6 feet high by 4 feet wide. Also featured are personalized bricks, landscaping, stone benches, a flagpole, an irrigation system and lights.
“This one is really going to be nice,” said Teresa Herbers, owner of Sun City Granite Inc., creators of this veterans monument and many others. “They came up with the design and there is some very nice artwork on it.”
And it was paid for entirely by donations. Residents and businesses raised about $49,000, according to Horton, when the committee’s goal was a modest $20,000. She said what isn’t spent on the monument will be used for maintenance and upkeep.
The money came from a variety of sources, including $10,000 in community improvement funds from Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone and $1,200 from Supervisor Bob Buster. Various businesses, such as Southern California Edison and Lowe’s, have chipped in and so far about 375 people have purchased bricks, which sell for $50 apiece. The Canyon Lake Merchant and Owners Association donated much of the labor.
And then there’s Jack Walmsley, a former councilman who was known to seek on-the-spot contributions from various sources, including duffers and low-handicappers on the Canyon Lake golf course.
“I was very impressed with the responses,” said Walmsley, who is a veteran. “I did it because I think the city needs something like this and it’s a good cause.”
This will be the city’s third Veterans Day ceremony. The event started simply with flags appearing on the lawns of Canyon Lake veterans and has grown to include a monument dedication, public speakers, music, and even a flyover by a squadron of historical T-34 airplanes.
Navy veteran Scott Mann, who is president of the Wildomar Chamber of Commerce, will serve as master of ceremonies. Presentations will be made by Randy Bonner, a former Marine colonel and current councilman; Navy Capt. Thomas Merry, and Lt. Col. Edward La Mar Jr., commander of the 196th Reconnaissance Squadron at March Air Reserve Base.