The Southern Arizona Veterans and First Responders Living Memorial continues to gather important support.
The fundraising goal of $1.9 million will fund the construction of a Living Memorial that is free to everyone who wishes to honor our veterans and first responders.
Pima County Awards $25,000 to Memorial
Southern Arizona Veterans and First Responders Living Memorial
The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to provide a $25,000 cash award to the Southern Arizona Veterans and First Responders Living Memorial. This was done in response to a letter asking for a contribution from Oro Valley Police Chief Danny Sharp to County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry. Jan Lesher, Deputy County Administrator, facilitated a quick response from the board.

“This award is important because it reflects the support and interest from not only a first responder leader, Chief Sharp, but also the backing of the County Board and Administration,” said Dick Eggerding, chair of the Living Memorial’s executive board. “It also sets the stage for solicitation from other Southern Arizona political and administrative entities.”

The Southern Arizona Veterans and First Responders Living Memorial will be the only space in southern Arizona that honors 20 percent of our region's population who have answered the call to serve and protect.
Memorial is Board Chair's Personal Passion
Dick Eggerding, chair of the Southern Arizona Veterans and First Responders Living Memorial Executive Board
Dick Eggerding, chair of the Southern Arizona Veterans and First Responders Living Memorial Executive Board, is the originator and proponent of the memorial concept to the Oro Valley Town Council. A long-time Oro Valley resident, Eggerding has been an active volunteer for 25 years, instrumental in founding and co-founding several ongoing arts and cultural projects. Honoring all who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces and first responders reflects a personal and life-long passion. 

"My interest in showing reverence and respect for the Military has been a constant part of my life,” Eggerding said. His father died in 1935 from a lingering effect of an illness resulting in a medical discharge from the Army in World War I. “I was 2 years old and always remembered how caring the American Legion was,” he said.

Eggerding served in the Army in Korea and Japan during the 1950s. While serving he learned that one of his close childhood friends was killed on the last day of the Korean War.

“All these factors, coupled with the 9/11 attacks making me aware of the first responder sacrifices, converged into an idea for the Living Memorial,” he said. “We now have the opportunity to create a once-in-a-lifetime project to honor all the military branches and first responders. At the same time, we can create a project that provides an environment for meditation, important events and educational opportunities."

The fundraising goal of $1.9 million will provide for 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 and will be free to all visitors.
Southern Arizona Veterans and First Responders Living Memorial
P.O. Box 68712 | Oro Valley, AZ 85737 | www.soazveteransfirstrespondersmemorial.org