Remembering the veterans


Alexandra Menendez

In November, in front of Downey City Hall, a new statue is resurrected as a veteran’s memorial. On every corner around the statue there is a plaque of each department of the military to represent the Navy, Marines, Army, and Air Force.

Hanna Suarez, Editor-in-Chief

In honor of veterans who have served for their country, the city of Downey dedicated the new Veterans Memorial in the Civic Center Area on Nov. 12. This addition to the civic center stands in front of the police station on its pentagon base, each of its different podiums naming a different section of the armed forces. After a year of planning by the City Council Veterans Memorial Subcommittee, the sculpture and fountain joins the Fallen Officers Memorial and a bust of John Gately Downey.  All of the works set a tone to the civic center area—that the residents of Downey are thankful for the service men who fight for their country and give back to their families and communities.


“I think it promotes modernism in Downey,” senior John Fernandez said, “ and the calm water displays a message about veterans and how they get peace by being appreciated for their service.”


The marble piece stands tall, with a metal symbol at the top. The crests of each branch are also engraved on the structure. The California based artist, James Russel has worked on other memorials and monuments for local cities like Cerritos and Duarte. The new statue has been supported from the beginning, however, some residents are still surprised by the news. Long time Downey resident and alumni Joanna Shull, volunteers at the thrift store Second Time Around on Downey Ave., and is pleasantly surprised by the patriotic project.


“It’s great that it’s there; it’s too bad I have not seen it yet,” Shull said. “I’m going to drive over there to take a look once I’m done here!”


The students at Downey High School have also noticed the memorial.


“It’s [the memorial] unique; it gives the civic center an artistic vibe while also showing Downey’s respect for the people who protect freedom,” senior Diana Perez said.


This latest project presented and financed by the Arts in Public Places fund has made a home in Downey. Its meaning will continue to represent the sense of pride within the community.