Vets memorial opens

By Jane Stebbins, Pilot staff writer September 10, 2013 08:01 pm

Photo submitted by Jodi Fritts Workers this week put the finishing touches on the memorial located near the Gold Beach Visitors Center.

Veterans, local law enforcement, fire agency personnel, government officials and citizens from throughout the area will attend the dedication of the Curry County Veterans Memorial in Gold Beach at noon Saturday.

The Curry County Veterans Memorial Association and the city of Gold Beach have been working for at least a year to procure a location and raise funds to create a serene space in which people can reflect on those who have served in the military and local emergency services.

“This is going to be quite a day,” said Vietnam War veteran Sam Vitale. 

“It’s beautiful. I’m so happy,” Vitale said.

 He and others have sold almost 250 plaques featuring the names of those who have served in the military services. Each will be mounted on walls adjacent to brick pillars under the emblems of each branch of the armed forces.

The $130,000 cost of the memorial was made possible through private donations, fundraisers and a state Parks and Recreation Veterans and War Memorials grant.

The state color guard — the Honor Guard Team — will post the colors at the Sept.14 event, Stephanie LaTorre will sing the National Anthem and speakers will include State Rep. Wayne Krieger and Phillip Jacques, a Gold Beach resident and Army veteran of the Iraq War. Additionally, the Marine Corps will present taps and a gun salute.

“The vets have worked so hard on this project,” said Gold Beach city administrator Jodi Fritts. “It will be a great memorial for the whole community.”

The dedication will be held on site at the corner of Shirley Lane and Highway 101 above the Gold Beach Visitor Center at the south end of town.

The event is open to the public; light refreshments will be served at the visitor center following the ceremony. Parking is available at the lower parking lot; a shuttle will be provided to take visitors to the site.

Those interested in purchasing a plaque to add to the wall can call Sam Vitale at 541-469-6443 or by visiting currcycountyveteransassociation.org.