Who we are

Our Story

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On 9/11, the role of our nation’s First Responders expanded with the military and a new  recognition of the importance of their faithful service to the people of the United States in response to terrorism surfaced. While historically we have separated the roles of the military and first responders, it is now appropriate to honor together the two groups of brave defenders of our safety and welfare. A group of Southern Arizonans recognized the need for a special place in which to honor, remember, and memorialize veterans and first responders. A picturesque venue where visitors, residents and school children can learn about the services these men and women provide. This beautiful living Memorial will be located in Naranja Park on 2.5 acres, allocated by the Town of Oro Valley, in full view of the Catalina Mountain’s Pusch Ridge. It will contain art, monuments and landscaping that are symbolic to all branches of the Department of Defense and First Responders. By creating such a space in which people may gather to remember and to learn, we honor the past and educate future generations about the meaning of service and sacrifice to our country.  “It is fitting that the Living Memorial honor these two groups who play a critical role in both past and present conflicts in America,” said Dr. Richard Carmona, the project’s Honorary Chair. “It is time to recognize, honor and remember living and fallen veterans and first responders together.” 



Board of Directors, Board Members and Community Advisors

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         Honorary Chairperson 

Dr. Richard Carmona 

Project Manager

Mitch Lorenz

Executive Board 

Dick Eggerding-Chair

Alan Dankwerth 

Kay Williams

Steve Didio

Vickie Shoopman

Edwin Hopper

Board Members

Matthew Moutafis

Ed Davis

Dick Tracy

Cmd. Chris Olson

Anne -Marie Braswell

Rose Steele

Michael Varney

Cathy Skoog

Community Advisors

Bill Assenmacher

Bill Walker

John Lacy

Kevin Wallace

Pat Johnston

Sheriff Napier

Chief Sharp

Chief Karrer

Chief Horvath

Priscilla Storm

Mike Reuwsaat

Rick Grinnel

Brig Gen (ret) Ron Shoopman

Maj Gen (ret) Ted Maxwell 





  


Memorial Monthly Newsletter

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 As the official  fundraising campaign gets underway nearly $200,000 has already been pledged providing a solid foundation for this inspiring 

A special place to honor, remember, and memorialize veterans and first responders is the vision producing $200,000 in pledges for the Southern Arizona Veterans and First Responders Living Memorial from its closest “family” of supporters.“We are thrilled with the level of support we have seen as we kick-off our campaign for this     important memorial,” said Board Chair Dick Eggerding. “These pledges are a     tremendous show of support. We will continue the effort by reaching out to a new group of supporters we are confident will continue the generosity.”The goal of $1.9 million will fund the construction of the Living Memorial to be located on 2.5 acres in Naranja Park, allocated by the Town of Oro Valley, in full     view of the Catalina Mountains’ Pusch Ridge. It will contain art, monuments and landscaping that are symbolic to all branches of the Department of  Defense and First Responders. Upon entering the memorial, visitors will walk along the Pathway of Heroes with 15-foot walls representing the branches of the Department of Defense and First Responders. A 24-foot high obelisk at the center will represent the strength and courage of our heroes. 



 

Newsletter Archive

Memorial Testimonials

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Bill Assenmacher 

This past Veterans Day we took some time to honor not only the Military and Veterans who defend our Freedom, but also the First Responders who work every day alongside our Military to keep us safe and free in an increasingly unstable world.

These passionate and devoted men and women sacrifice so much to preserve our way of life. That reality led me to become a champion for a new project to be built right here in Southern Arizona. The “Southern Arizona Veterans and First Responders Living Memorial” is a wonderful concept designed to recognize these great public servants side by side in one place. It will be a place of honor, reflection and education. 

The design is as stunning as the uniqueness of its purpose. This amazing memorial will be built on 2 ½ beautiful acres of land in Oro Valley where all of Southern Arizona can gather to celebrate those who have paid the price for our freedom and those who continue to defend it today.

I invite you to learn more about the project by going to the web site below. This project has tremendous support from those who wear a uniform and serve our country. Fulfilling the vision of this project demands the support of all of us, working together, to raise the private funds needed to make it a reality. 

If you are interested in learning more, please call me, Ron Shoopman or the projects Honorary Chair, Richard Carmona. We look forward to meeting with you personally to explain how you can join us in supporting this worthy and fitting project for Southern Arizona.

  


Board Member Believes Heroes Deserve Our Gratitude

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     Southern Arizona Veterans and First Responders   Living Memorial is honored to have Kay Williams as a member of its executive   board. 

Kay’s involvement in honoring and celebrating   our veterans is personal. Her father lost part of his foot during his   service in World War II in the European theater. Her brother came home from   the Vietnam conflict with post-traumatic stress, having seen his two closest   friends killed. Her nephew is permanently disabled from the effects of an IED   explosion in Afghanistan. 

“When you see the impact on our veterans,   first responders and their families, you want to ensure there is a permanent   place of honor and recognition for them, their service and sacrifice,” says   Kay, pictured above on the left with board member Curt Stowell. “Our   military, our veterans and our first responders stood or continue to stand   watch, protect us, act when necessary, and always serve. They deserve our   recognition and gratitude. This memorial serves as a singular place for   generations to come to know the sacrifice that our freedom and security   demanded from those who serve and continue to serve.”

         


Memorial Events

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Southern Arizona Veterans and First Responers Living Memorial 

5 K Run  


Saturday  May 18th 

Naranja Park Oro Valley




  • The 3rd Annual Veterans and First Responders 5k run/walk and Memorial Mile run/walk, Presented by Title Sponsor Splendido at Rancho Vistoso, to help raise funds for the Southern Arizona Veterans and First Responders Living Memorial at Naranja Park.  The memorial will be a place where people can go and reflect. They can honor their forefathers, grandfathers, grandmothers, aunts and uncles whoever served. It will be an opportunity for education about veterans as well as first responders they are equals in this memorial. 

Click to event registration and info

about the Memorial

      

Southern Arizona has a population of more than 400,000 (roughly 20%) veterans, active military, and first responders. These men and women, along with their fallen brothers and sisters, play and have played a critical role in both past and present conflicts in America. The Living Memorial will create a space in which we honor and celebrate our heroes while educating future generations about the meaning of service and sacrifice to our country. Young people can learn that liberty and safety are attained through selfless acts of kindness and valor. They will learn the history of the cost of their freedom. Adults can see a physical representation of the timeless determination it takes to maintain our status as the greatest nation on earth. Families and friends who have suffered loss can visit a solemn place of remembrance.  The memorial is entirely funded by donations from citizens and businesses in the Southern Arizona Region. Without a doubt, YOU, can help to bring this incredible Living Memorial to fruition!

FUND THE MEMORIAL NOW!

 Your generous donation will help us build the Memorial. 

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