Those with Santa Monica roots who served and fallen in the military might soon be honored daily as the Santa Monica City Council unanimously approved Nov. 26 a war memorial to be built at Woodlawn Cemetery.
With seven concrete panels to be erected at Woodlawn Cemetery, the Memorial Wall would honor local natives who gave their lives to defend the United States in battle since the late nineteenth century.
Each of the concrete panels would be dedicated to a specific war.
Those who would be honored on the commemorative wall must meet one of three criteria: the individual must have been born in Santa Monica and died in service during wartime, in combat, or otherwise, after the City was established in 1875; had a Santa Monica address when they died in service; or, died while in service and chose to be interred in Santa Monica.
If a service member was born outside of Santa Monica – at UCLA Medical Center or Cedar Sinai, for example – but whose parents lived in the City when he or she was born would also be listed on the memorial wall, given the service member died during wartime.
A member of City staff who also served in wartime and died in combat could also have his or her name placed upon the war memorial.
According to City Hall, the commemorative walls, as currently designed, would cost $16,358.
The public fundraiser for the war memorial was launched during the Memorial Day Remembrance at Woodlawn Cemetery on May 27, 2013.
If the requisite funds were raised, a commemorative wall would be built and then unveiled at Woodlawn Cemetery during the next Memorial Day, which is May 26, 2014.
Council member Bob Holbrook suggested City Hall guarantee the project be completed if the fundraising campaign fell short, but he also believed Santa Monica residents would come through with enough donations and support to ensure the War Memorial be built.
However, according to the staff report, City Hall has not allocated funds for the proposed project in its current budget.
Prior to the Nov. 26 council meeting, City staff reported $3,500 had been raised through fundraising efforts. During the council meeting, Holbrook said two other donors pledged amounts of $6,000 and $500, respectively, potentially bringing the raised amount to $10,000.
Specific costs were broken down by City staff, with $12,650 of the estimated budget dedicated to hard costs and $1,518 allocated to contractor overhead and profit. Another $1,265 is line-itemed for construction contingencies, while City Hall allocated $500 for “reimbursable expenses” such as prints and mailers. Finally, $425 is budgeted for bonds and insurance.
According to City staff, a design for the commemorative wall has already been drafted by Architectural Services and is “an elegant, thoughtful and cost effective design for the commemorative wall where the names will be etched directly into the concrete.”
“As proposed, the monument would be comprised of seven precast concrete panels, one for each war. The location, at the end of the roadway into Woodlawn and at the main entrance to the Mausoleum, offers high visibility and easy access by the public, and is of manageable scale to accommodate a limited project budget,” City staff stated. “The concrete panels provide flexibility should additional names need to be discovered and need to be added, or in the unfortunate circumstance of a new conflict.”
A website has been developed by City staff to receive donations for the commemorative wall (smgov.net/Departments/Cemetery and click on Commemorative Wall).
Woodlawn Cemetery is located at the corner of 14th Street and Pico Boulevard.
Mayor Pro Tem Terry O’Day and Council member Ted Winterer were not present at the Nov. 26 council meeting.