Commemorating most—but not all– of our local fallen heroes is a series of memorial plaques distributed on bridges and overpasses throughout the greater Grass Valley and Nevada City areas. These markers recognize soldiers who perished in the Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and have been funded and installed over a period of over thirty years by various community organizations, in concert with legislative direction at the state and local levels. Their locations do not lend themselves to be recognized, although many of us pass them by on a regular basis, being situated adjacent to roadways with little or no opportunity to stop. This fact is one of the driving motivations of the second annual Local Heroes’ Memorial Bridge Tour, a walking, driving and cycling circuit that visits a number of the locations in person. Spearheaded by two dedicated and energetic women—mothers with sons who have served in the most recent conflicts in the Middle East—this year’s event has several goals: first, to bring awareness of these icons of remembrance and the men who they acknowledge to the general public, second, to honor and respect our local men and women currently serving in harm’s way, and third, and perhaps most important, to draw together in unity and fellowship all of those local veterans and veteran organizations operating at large in our community. For far too long all veterans, both past and present, living and dead—our fellow citizens—have gone unrecognized; their supreme sacrifices, circumstances notwithstanding, deserve acknowledgement and respect in person, not just cast in bronze.
This year’s tour will begin at Memorial Park in Grass Valley on Monday, May 27th after the Memorial Day services there, at approximately 1:00 pm (1300 hours). A banner will designate the starting area for the walking and bicycle tours and a loading point for the tour bus. The Grass Valley route will visit seven bridge memorials, including the recently named Gold Star Memorial Bridge (formerly the Brighton Street Overcrossing) over an approximately 4-mile round trip. Along this route, and at memorial plaques throughout Grass Valley and Nevada City, veteran and volunteer docents will offer information regarding the specific soldier honored, and also distribute maps of all plaque locations for future visitation and remembrance.
For more information on volunteering to be a plaque docent, or to sign up to participate in the walk/cycle tour or to ride the tour bus, please call or text Catherine Ione-Perkins at 530-906-3668 or Pat Nelson at 530-477-8480, or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some other events taking place on Memorial Day around town:
• 9:00 am Memorial Day Ceremony at Pioneer Park – Veterans of Foreign Wars, host.
• 9:30 am Bicycle Tour of Plaques leaving from Pioneer Park at Seaman’s Lodge after the 9:00am cerremony. This ride will be led by Duane and Connie Strawser, owners of Tour of Nevada City.
• 11:00 am Memorial Day Ceremony at Memorial Park American Legion, host.
• 12:00 pm Boy Scouts serving hot dogs after ceremony
• 1:00 pm Friends of Nevada County Military Local Heroes Memorial Walk begins at Memorial Park (in attendance will be Marine Corps League, Vietnam Veterans, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Blue Star Mothers of America) Welcome Home Vets will provide a water stop along the Walk route
Telecare Bus Plaque Tour will pick up first group at 1:00 pm under Memorial Bridge Tour sign.Walking tour to meet under the Memorial Bridge Tour Sign
• 3pm Welcome Home Vets Open House (228 Mill Street, Grass Valley)