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Memorial saluting fallen veterans will rise at Temecula’s Duck Pond

By in Press Enterprise on October 7, 2017

By Shane Newell

Duck Pond Park will soon be the site of a memorial honoring Temecula residents killed in military action.

The Temecula Fallen Heroes Memorial project is moving forward now that the Temecula City Council has approved plans for the $31,250 memorial.

Set to be installed in 2018, the memorial will feature a 17-foot steel tower, a bronze-cast battlefield cross and a life-sized bald eagle made from steel. Other features will include a flag, benches and five 12-inch military seals, said Erica Russo, senior management analyst for the city.

“It’s nice to know that when this memorial is stood up with their names on it that they won’t be forgotten,” said John Hernandez, post commander for the Temecula-based Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4089.

Hernandez helped raise about $10,000 for the memorial, which the council OK’d Sept. 26.

Plans to honor fallen Temecula residents began after the death of Staff Sgt. Louis Cardin, a 27-year-old Chaparral High graduate and Temecula resident who was killed by rocket fire in Iraq in March 2016, Hernandez said. Cardin served three tours in Afghanistan and another in Iraq.

“When I heard he was from Temecula, that really hit home,” Hernandez said.

In the weeks and months following Cardin’s death, the VFW post collaborated with the city and other groups to gather donations from its tip jar and sources. They included the Temecula Valley Woman’s Club; Bob Hagel, chair of the public and traffic safety commission; and Riverside County Supervisor Chuck Washington.

“It’s always comforting to know that, if a serviceman gives his life in service of his country, that he’s not going to be forgotten,” Hernandez said.

Other Temecula residents who have died in combat include Cpl. Christopher G. Singer, 23, a Chaparral High School graduate who died in 2012.

The project has an estimated completion date of June 30, 2018, a city report […]    

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