Launching the Route 66 Veterans Memorial Corridor was a special moment for Incredible Edible Community Garden Co-Founder Mary Petit.
Along with fellow Co-Founder Eleanor Torres, veteran service organizations, and community groups, Petit will be planting over 3,000 trees across a 400-mile stretch to honor brave military heroes like her father.
“My dad was in the First Marine Division at Guadalcanal,” said Petit. “I’m wearing his dog tags today, and I miss him.”
IECG held several kickoff events in Barstow, Fontana, and San Bernardino on October 12 and 13 to commemorate the actions of service men and women who have fought in wars dating back to World War II. At the Col. Joseph Rodriguez VFW Post 8737 volunteers planted 18 trees and permanent markers.
Torres said IECG received a $1 million grant through the California Climate Investments Program to work on the project. The marker will include a veteran’s name, branch of service, years of service and the GPS coordinates for the location of the tree.
“We wanted to have a project where we could go across the county and bring our communities together in the distinct in an effort to honor our veterans,” said Torres. “We’re excited about this because not only is it just tree planting…it includes scrubbing the air.”
San Bernardino County Supervisor Josie Gonzales, whose father also served in the military, said the “iconic” Route 66 project symbolizes freedom, venture, and American ingenuity. She also took the time to recognize the contributions of Latino veterans.
“This will serve as a living legacy honoring county veterans for whom we are forever indebted,” she said.
Vietnam War veteran Robert Carcano, whose name and U.S. Army service information will be placed on a marker, confirmed he is thankful that there are still people like the IECG admiring the contributions of veterans.
“[The memorial corridor] is a symbol to all of our veterans, who have served and are serving now,” he said. “It’s a great honor to be a part of this. Maybe someday kids will come by and recognize me.”
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