A few months ago the City Council voted to set aside up to $50,000 to erect a Veterans Honor Wall in our own Leo Ryan Park.
The idea came about when I was visiting Texas and was impressed with how many ways they honored their veterans from every war. I brought the idea forward and was met with enthusiasm from veterans in Foster City. The criteria to have your name appear was you needed to have lived, do live or have worked for the City of Foster City.
We started sending out information to those 30 or so folks that wanted their name to appear or from their families who wanted to recognize these veterans. They were all very excited about this honor.
Two council members voted against the idea, not because they didn’t think it was a good one, but because they felt we shouldn’t be spending this money. We also heard from a member of the community who felt the honor was not necessary. He represented 11 men who shared his views. While they appreciated our acknowledgement of service they expressed “We did not serve for aggrandizement or personal promotion. We served to support our fellow citizens and responsible governance – a government that protects our values, as we protected it”.
Please let me respond……..I feel I express the thoughts of others……I was not part of fighting for my country in any war and mostly felt helpless being at home with just prayers to offer. It may sound selfish but allow ME to thank YOU in public for all you did for all of us and allowing us the freedom of choice that we are fortunate to enjoy. Allow us to acknowledge you because there is no way for us to repay the sacrifices you made. This is a gift you can give us…….I know everyone on that list of 11 and I know how uncomfortable it is to accept someone just saying thank you. I know you dislike the attention but you deserve the recognition and I hope you might be flexible in accepting our thanks.
As far as appropriating the $50,000 elsewhere, we cannot. That money was for the benefit of residents of Foster City, employees and their families. It is an enhancement to our park system.
We have adopted a company from the 101st Airborne and at Christmas we sent them over 400 Christmas cards signed by Foster City schoolchildren, along with several boxes of candy canes and signed banners showing our support. These items were sent to them at their home base of Fort Campbell and their forward operating base in Afghanistan. Later this year we will be sending another set of care packages to them in our continuing effort to Support our Troops! This effort was championed by our very own police chief and veteran, Matt Martell, and the endorsement of all five council members.
I know there are many other volunteer groups that contribute to the troops and I would be happy to mention them in this column if it would help your volunteer efforts.
In regards to Honor Wall nominees, I am pleased to report that we have heard from many residents regarding their desire to honor their loved ones who have served our country in the Armed Forces and we have received requests to be included by 18 men and 3 women. I am confident that in establishing the Veterans Honor Wall we have created an opportunity and venue to recognize the brave men and women of Foster City who have served in the Armed Forces.
As a component of the Veterans Honor Wall we are still seeking donors to support the construction of the Veterans Honor Wall. I am pleased to report that we have received a very generous donation from an individual donor of $5000. We are still seeking and hoping to receive donations to our Foundation that would support the Honor Wall construction. If you are interested in making a donation to the Foundation to support the Veterans Honor Wall or are interested in a nomination application form. Please contact Kevin Miller at email@example.com or 650-286-3388.
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