May 07, 2018 11:45AM
● By Supervisor Karen Mitchoff
On April 29, the Lafayette War Veterans hosted a special ceremony to unveil a new monument in front of the Veterans Memorial Center on Mt. Diablo Boulevard in Lafayette. At this monument dedication, our community honored 23 members of the Armed Forces from Contra Costa County who have died in the line of duty since September 11, 2001. I was honored to participate in this very moving dedication to military personnel along with their families and members of our community.
The idea for this monument was first envisioned by Gold Star Mom Yolanda Vega. Ms. Vega’s son, Senior Airman Jonathan Vega Yelner, was tragically killed in Afghanistan 10 years ago on April 29, when his vehicle struck a roadside bomb. Ms. Vega understands the importance of supporting other military families, especially Gold Star families. This memorial is a beautiful way to honor the sacrifice of those in our community like her son. I am thankful to all that were part of this effort. Having a dedicated memorial site where our community can go to honor fallen heroes from Contra Costa County is an important way we can show our support on Memorial Day and every day.
An anonymous $25,000 donation was given towards this project, estimated to cost $50,000. The Lafayette War Veterans have been fundraising as well. This is the only monument of its kind to recognize service members post 9/11. If you are interested in contributing towards this memorial, please contact Mike Gilson at 925-766-6114 or [email protected].
The Contra Costa Blue Star Moms has been working on the High School Memorials Project as a way to also honor our fallen soldiers. The High School Memorials Project will create a granite memorial at each of the 12 high schools in Contra Costa where a former student died in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. They have successfully created memorials at Concord High School, Berean Christian High, Mt. Diablo High, Ygnacio Valley High, and De La Salle High School. They are fundraising to install memorials at the remaining high schools: Clayton Valley Charter, Antioch High, College Park High, Las Lomas High, Liberty High, Olympic High, and Benicia High School.
This is another way we can honor Gold Star families in our community and remember the sacrifices that were made, not just by the soldiers themselves but also by their families. For more information on how you can help with the High School Memorial Project, please visit: