Downey plans to add names to Veterans Memorial

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Wave Staff Report

DOWNEY — With just one name on the city’s Veterans Memorial, officials would like to honor additional Downey-related military personnel killed in the line of duty.

The City Council Sept. 22 approved plans to reach out to the community for more names to add to the memorial.

dedicated Nov. 12, 2012;

They acted after a report from Vaniah De Rojas, assistant to City Manager Gil Livas. She noted that despite the city’s long history of supporting and honoring veterans, the only name on the monument, which was dedicated Nov. 12, 2012 in the Civic Center behind City Hall, is that of a “centenarian World War II veteran.”

Directed by the council in January, city staff has contacted 10 surrounding cities regarding their policies of honoring veterans. They included Bellflower, Buena Park, La Mirada, Lakewood, Long Beach, Norwalk, Paramount, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs and Whittier, De Rojas said in a written report to the council.

De Rojas said no cities contacted had an official policy regarding the placing of veteran names on their memorial, adding that most cities did honor local veterans in a number of other ways, such as street banners and placing names on a memorial of those “who died in combat while serving in the armed forces.

Downey’s criteria clarified that those killed need not have been firing a weapon at the time but were victims of hostile action while serving in the military during an intervention or a declared war.

To be listed on the Downey Memorial, all veterans or military personnel the veterans must have been a resident of Downey or have lived in the city at least five years.

De Rojas said the eligibility requirement would included designation by the U.S. Department of Defense that they were killed in action (whether or not they were firing a weapon) or are missing in action in any campaign or hostile action involving U.S. military intervention or a declared war.

The veteran’s name, rank and service branch will be listed on a plaque on the memorial, under the current plan.

Individuals who wish to submit a name for the memorial are asked to submit their request, with proof of eligibility, to the Downey City Manager’s office via email at citymanager@downeyca.org or drop it off at the City Hall, 11111 Brookshire Ave.

“Staff will create a page on the city’s website, www.downey,ca.org, which will be dedicated to the submission process, De Rojas said.