12 Nov City of Perris Unveils Veterans Memorial in Downtown Perris
The City of Perris unveiled the Veterans Memorial in Downtown Perris at 101 South D Street in a somber and respectful ceremony on Saturday, November 6, 2021.
In attendance for this unveiling was Perris Mayor Michael M. Vargas, Mayor Pro Tem David Starr Rabb, Council Member Marisela Nava, Council Member Malcolm Corona, representatives from the office of Congressman Mark Takano of the 41st Congressional District, representatives from the office of Senator Richard D. Roth of the 31st Senate District, representatives from the office of Assemblymember Jose Medina of the 61st Assembly District, and representatives from IDI Logistics, who sponsored the project by donating materials, finances and time for this project.
In addition to the elected officials and sponsors, the event also welcomed Captain Quinn Hawley, CHC, USN (Ret.), March Air Reserve Base Commander Colonel Gregory P. Haynes, Tim Moore of the Veterans Memorial Ad Hoc Committee and Commander of the American Legion Post 595, Gilbert and Yolanda Williams of the Inland Empire Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Foundation, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 888 William Tee Brown, VFW District 3 Commander Steve Regalado, Planning Commission Chairman Jack Shively, Planning Commissioner Dwayne Hammond, planning Commissioner Guadalupe Gomez, and several other veterans and city staff members.
The Veteran’s Memorial is the result of strong collaboration by the community. Perris officials formed a Veterans Memorial Ad Hoc Committee, consisting of the commanders of the local VFW, American Legion and Inland Empire Buffalo Soldiers Heritage Foundation. The Committee was charged with selecting the location and finalizing the memorial design by Planning Commission Chair Shively, and with their first meeting held in May 2018, marked the official start of the project.
City officials worked closely with the Ad Hoc Committee in determining the location and design and soon after partnered with IDI Logistics on the construction. With this collaboration, the city can not only honor local veterans, but also continue with beautification efforts within the Downtown District, turning a former empty lot into a meaningful new community gathering space. Additionally, the collaboration with local veteran organizations as well as a private developer has enhanced the general partnership and relationship amongst all three parties and helped set a positive tone of community engagement within the community since the start of the project.
With the formation of the Ad Hoc Committee, it not only gave our veteran organizations direct input into and ownership of the project itself, but it also garnished the community support that eventually assisted in the funding of the project, by and large by direct and in-kind donations from the developer and their network of subcontractors, material providers and vendors.
The design of the Veterans Memorial considered the main and consistent components of such a display, but with the unique ideas and input of local organizations. Five 15-foot concrete monoliths acknowledge a list of names for Perris veterans representing each of the five branches of service (Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Air Force) with a temporary acrylic sheeting to be replaced in its final stage with names etched in glass. Five smaller pedestals in front of the monoliths will be completed with engraved plaques telling the history and origin of each represented branch.
The Veteran’s Memorial holds special importance to Perris Mayor Michael. M. Vargas as it was one of his first items of business he brought to the Council after becoming mayor. The project broke ground on May 12, 2021 and moved quickly toward the unveiling. Now, he’s happy to see it finally come to fruition.
“To have our very first veteran’s memorial in the city is very exciting,” said Vargas. “It’s important to express gratitude to our veterans for all they do to provide our freedoms, especially to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. We hope this memorial honors them and is something that lasts for generations.”
Mayor Pro Tem and former Gunner’s Mate Second Class (USN) David Starr Rabb was pleased to see the community support Perris Veterans.
“This is to honor our veterans who have served our country in all the branches of service who have protected our country through numerous wars,” said Rabb. “Thank you to our veterans and our community members who have come to honor them.”
Council Member Nava was proud of the completed project and hopes to keep the memory of these veterans strong for future generations.
“This project was long overdue, and we are so thankful to bring this to our Perris veterans,” said Nava. “We can never repay the debt you have paid, but we will keep your memory alive with this memorial.”
Council Member Malcolm Corona said this memorial is as nice as he had seen across the country.
“This memorial is beautiful. Other places have monuments, but I believe ours can stand up to any others across the country,” said Corona. “Thank you to our past, present and future veterans for all you do.”
Tim Moore of the Veterans Memorial Ad Hoc Committee and Commander of the American Legion Post 595 expressed his gratitude for the city’s unveiling.
“This memorial was built for the veterans of the City of Perris and for those in resting in our cemetery,” said Moore. “We took an oath to defend this country, with our lives if necessary, and we would do it again if we were asked, no matter what.”
More than 800 service members are buried in the Perris Valley Cemetery, dating back to the Civil and Spanish-American War. Since 1985, those who passed have been laid to rest in the Riverside National Cemetery. But for now, those who called Perris home will forever be remembered with this memorial.
Moore continued, “The City has gone out of it’s way big time with their commitment and the commitment from IDI Logistics. We wouldn’t have this beautiful monument without them, and we are grateful for their contribution.”
“The entire IDI Logistics team takes very seriously its commitment to make a difference and be active participants in the communities where we work. While IDI had the fortune to take the lead to construct this memorial, we could not have done it without so many friends and trade partners who contributed time, materials and labor to the project and we thank them for their support of the effort. IDI Logistics thanks our friends and colleagues at the City of Perris for the opportunity to be a part of such a meaningful and lasting tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.” said Charlie McPhee, Senior Vice President and Regional Director, IDI Logistics West Region.
With more than 30 years’ experience and a track record of delivering more than 200 million square feet of innovative warehousing, distribution and manufacturing facilities, IDI logistics is a leading investor and developer of logistics real estate.