Clovis Memorial District to Fund "Freedom Wall"

January 11, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
The wall would be the first ever Fresno project for the Clovis Memorial District, which gets property taxes from most of Fresno County.The plans are to get the wall up at Woodward Park as soon as next year.

Sandra McFarland lost her son in Iraq two years ago this month. Friends and family held a Valley memorial for the Corcoran native, but his family honored a wish to bury him in Missouri, next to his grandfather.

A permanent, homegrown memorial would give McFarland somewhere to grieve.

"I know there are memorials, like Fort Drum in New York, but I don't get a chance to go back there, so this gives me a place right here where I live," said Sandra.

Clovis is already home to a several memorials. There are memorials for Jared Hubbard, Jeremiah Baro and different branches of the military. There's also an unfinished memorial to the victims of all foreign wars.

The freedom wall would be a tribute to service members lost since Sept. 11. It would be a six foot tall stretch of granite on a corner of Woodward Park, highly visible to vehicle traffic on Friant Road and foot traffic from the park. Pictures and names would become physical markers for the lost service members and emotional centers for their families.

"This helps me emotionally because if I want to cry, I can sit there and cry. If I want to talk to him, I can talk to him," said Sandra.

The Clovis Memorial District appears ready to make that conversation happen by donating $225-k to the project, a price far less than what the Soldiers, Marines and Midshipmen gave.

"Many of them are giving the ultimate sacrifice. We can just never forget how important that is to our freedoms," said Jerry Duncan, Fresno City Council.

The city of Fresno would be responsible for maintenance.


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