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September 1, 2014

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Group unveils four designs for proposed veterans memorial

Image

Courtesy Las Vegas Veterans Memorial Association

A rendering of the Las Vegas Veterans Memorial designed by Cliff Garten.

Las Vegas Veterans Memorial

A rendering of the Las Vegas Veterans Memorial designed by Douwe Blumberg. Launch slideshow »

Veterans memorial design tour schedule

Wednesday, June 23

  • Fifth Street School Auditorium, 401 South 4th St.
  • Hours of display: 5 to 6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 24 to Saturday, June 26

  • American Shooters, 3440 S. Arville St.
  • Phone: (702) 362-1223
  • Hours of display: Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Monday, June 28 to Saturday, July 3

  • East Las Vegas Community/Senior Center, 250 North Eastern Ave.
  • Phone: (702) 229-1515
  • Hours of display: Monday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Wednesday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 6 to Sunday, July 11

  • Centennial Hills Community Center, 6601 N. Buffalo Drive
  • Phone: (702) 478-9622
  • Hours of display: Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m (Tuesday on display after 8 a.m.); Saturday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 13 to Saturday, July 17

  • Charleston Heights Arts Center, 800 South Brush St.
  • Phone: (702) 229-6383
  • Hours of display: Tuesday, 2 to 9 p.m.; Wednesday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 21

  • Las Vegas City Hall Plaza, 400 Stewart Ave.
  • Hours of display: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Four different visions of a future veterans memorial were presented to the public Wednesday, and in about a month, one will be chosen to be built at Huntridge Circle Park on Maryland Parkway near Charleston Boulevard.

    The park, which has been closed since 2006, was once a popular hangout for the homeless, but Las Vegas officials hope the memorial will revive the area and bring more tourists to the city.

    “It’s a park that needs to be used,” said City Councilman Gary Reese, who represents the area and has been involved in the plans for the memorial.

    Before the artists presented their work, Mayor Oscar Goodman said, “This is a great day for Las Vegas.”

    “This is really awesome in the sense that it is symbolic of what we stand for in Las Vegas,” he said.

    The memorial is being built by the Las Vegas Veteran Memorial Association, a non-profit that plans to donate the memorial to the city once it is complete.

    The association was established by Michael Millett, who served as an Army ranger and now owns the American Shooters gun range and firearms supply store.

    Millett said Las Vegas has a large population of veterans and is one of the largest cities in the country without a veterans memorial.

    “I know how fortunate I am to be an American,” he said. “We have a chance to make a stand and say thank you to those who have sacrificed and their families.”

    The association received about 200 proposals from artists from around the country, officials said. Four finalists were invited to build models of their plans to present to the public.

    A committee of representatives from the association, the city and veterans groups will select the winning design next month, Millett said.

    But the funding and timeline for the project beyond that is in question.

    The city is happy to support the memorial but isn’t ready to spend money on it, and private donations are hard to find right now. The design that is selected will determine how long construction will take and how much the project will cost.

    The artists were asked to incorporate ways for people to financially support the memorial, such as buying bricks to dedicate to loved ones who served in the military.

    Artist Douwe Blumberg presented a monument with a central scene of soldiers in a modern-day battle surrounded by veterans of other eras. Each of Blumberg’s statues are 125 percent life size.

    Joan Benefiel proposed a sculpture of five intertwined figures that would each be 9 feet tall and illuminated by a central light that would gradually change color.

    Cliff Garten’s design was primarily based on landscaping, with a 9-foot wall covered with quotations.

    And Eugene Daub and Rob Firmin designed a monument that would include every known last name of Americans who have died in battle, toped with a bell tower with a giant eagle.

    Models of the four designs will be on a touring display until they are presented to the council July 21. The public is invited to submit comments about the designs, which the association says it will take into account when the committee picks the winner.

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