Center board plans for Casa Blanca vet memorial

CENTER — Center Town Board members met Tuesday to discuss plans to complete the veterans memorial wall at Casa Blanca Park this summer and what work needs to be done in order to begin building the wall.
Memorial bricks with veterans’ names will be placed on the wall, although some trustees at first suggested the bricks be used as a walkway. Trustees Tino Segura and Archie Gallegos objected that placing the bricks as a walkway showed disrespect and others had previously expressed concerns that the inscription on the bricks would not withstand the wear. It was then agreed the bricks should be placed on the wall.
Some bricks already have been sold for the project, Mayor Pro Tem Mary McClure noted. Bricks come in two sizes and will hold the veterans name and birth/death dates or date of service.
It was not decided whether only Center veterans or those who lived at least for a time in Center would be commemorated on the wall or whether the wall would hold names from veterans across Saguache County. Rose DeHerrera told the board that when the park was first planned, it was decided that only Center vets would be honored there.
One trustee commented that there are 26 veterans from La Garita alone that might potentially be considered for the memorial, but Segura disputed that number. The board postponed the decision on the matter for a future meeting.
While the curved sitting wall near the gazebo that will hold the bricks is relatively long, trustees were not sure it would hold all the bricks. McClure suggested that any overflow could be placed around the flagpole area, which would receive minimal traffic.
The area also has to be measured to see how many bricks it will hold. Trustees will visit the park next Monday to help better visualize the project.
Many veterans’ families have yet to respond to the request for bricks for the park but Segura said he is still spreading the word. McClure suggested trustees check other memorial sites in the area to see how their bricks are placed. Trustees found several sites online during the discussion that would serve as examples for placing the bricks.
The board decided the best idea was to have someone design the area for them to best utilize space and for appearance purposes. It was also decided to investigate local sources for engraving the bricks.
McClure asked Segura and others to call the national offices of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the American Legion for any suggestions. All agreed to continue the discussion at a future meeting.

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