Ground-breaking the first step for veterans memorial

War veterans in San Francisco will soon have a memorial in their honor.
March 20, 2014 9:57:16 PM PDT
War veterans in San Francisco will soon have a memorial in their honor. Eighty-two years ago, there was a plan to build a memorial for San Francisco's veterans, but money and other priorities got in the way. Now, an octagon of stone will soon rise on the courtyard of green between the War Memorial Opera House and the Veterans Building.

"Veterans in San Francisco have long been neglected; it's a very important part of history and now we'll have a monument to honor them," retired U.S. Air Force Col. Roger Dong said.

This site already contains soil from some of the battlefields where Americans have fought and died -- the World Wars, Korea, Vietnam.

Janet Wilson was an Army medic during that controversial war.

"They''re very gracious to veterans now," she said. "Not during the Vietnam era but now we do everything possible for the warriors not the war."

There are plans to add earth from more recent conflicts inside the stone tribute.

"My first blood I spent was in Grenada; the last was in Iraq," retired Army Pvc. Harold Miller said. "This means a lot to me."

The project will cost around $2.5 million, paid with private funds.

Former Secretary Of State George Shultz headed up the effort to keep the promise San Francisco made to veterans eight decades ago.

Shultz is a former Marine.

"This is as much about the future as the past, because it's a statement that those we serve we honor," he said.

The memorial is expected to be completed in time for Fleet Week in October.

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