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Veterans Memorial Grove commemorated on 30th anniversary

Monday, November 12th, 2012 | Posted by

James Bleifus at Sonoma State University’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial Grove  (permission: SSU News Center)

On Sunday, Nov. 11, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors joined Rohnert Park Mayor Jake Mackenzie and Cotati Mayor Susan Harvey to read resolutions in a ceremony commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Grove at SSU.

Anti-war activist and musician Country Joe McDonald played at the end of the celebration that included readings by local veterans and other community supporters.

The Memorial Grove, located near the main entrance to SSU, includes a marble block with 78 names, including 22 from five surrounding counties. Dedicated on November 13, 1982, the Grove is one of more than 90 Vietnam War Memorials in California, but it may be the only one on a California college or university campus, according to the Sonoma State University news center.

Cotati resident, James Bleifus, a Desert Storm veteran and Masters graduate of SSU, has traveled across California to photograph and document the stories behind the memorials. To learn more about the project and his fund-raising efforts, watch his video at the California Vietnam War Memorial Project.

An exhibit on the history of the Grove is now at the University Library on the second floor of SSU, 19801 E. Cotati Ave.

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Nick Walden is our Rohnert Park + Cotati correspondent.
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