Pillar cap installed on Eternal Flame at Memorial Park
BULLHEAD CITY — After nine years of effort, members of Veterans United, Inc. have been able to complete a long-held goal for Arizona Veterans Memorial Park: the veterans service organization had a cap installed on the pillars of the Eternal Flame on the North Peninsula.
“I’m excited,” said Larry Stevenson, Veterans United board member. “I never thought I’d see it finished in my lifetime.”
The public is invited to a dedication ceremony for the completed monument beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday at the park. Access to the northern entrance of the park is west of Lazy Harry’s, 2170 Rio Grande Road.
In addition to the commemorative program, a $5 military-style fundraising breakfast of SOS will be served at Lazy Harry’s from 10 a.m. to noon.
The project’s completion also honors long-time Veterans United member Pete Idsinga, who died in August, said Dick Patzold, Veterans United member.
“This project was special to Pete,” Patzold said. “He kept it going for a long time.”
The design of the one-ton, 16-foot diameter cap began with Medhi Azarmi of Fairway Constructors, Inc. and Ludwig Engineering Associates, Inc., Patzold said.
The six-man crew of Hazlewood Welding worked full time for a week and a half to build the cap and spent Wednesday completing the installation.
“Medhi came to us and asked what can we do, and I said, whatever we have to,” said Stoney Hazlewood. “The crew is excited that it will be up there for years to come, and — well, it’s to remember our veterans, so that’s what it’s all about.”
Veterans United long-term fundraising to complete the project got a boost in March from a $25,000 WCS grant from Mohave Electric Cooperative.
“We’ve been fundraising for years,” Patzold said. “Along with the money we’ve raised and other donations, the grant from Mohave Electric Cooperative allows us to complete this project and move on to other planned improvements in the park.”
Upcoming projects include the installation of a memorial honoring Arizona medics and corpsmen and a bridge to connect the north and south peninsulas, Stevenson said.
Veterans United, Inc., a locally formed volunteer-run nonprofit organization, focuses on a mission of honoring veterans in the form of memorials at Arizona Veterans Memorial Park.
“We’re actively looking for members to join our group,” Stevenson said. “Most of what you see in this park has been achieved by a handful of people. We would love to have more members to help us continue to honor our veterans through this park.”