Veterans Memorial Plaza

Veterans Memorial Plaza 04

“This memorial will certainly not be something you can just pass by and ignore. It’s big and it’s bold and it says a lot...Like great memorials, this one obliges us to pause and to think. And to think about the men and women who gave their lives in service to their country.”
—Eric Johnson, co-chair of the memorial committee and a retired U.S. Air Force colonel

Veterans Memorial Plaza 03The memorial was designed by architect Brooks Middleton and includes five metal plates with soaring birds representing the five branches of the armed forces. Below the birds are a series of descriptions of past wars, all supported by caged retaining wall filled with stones, which Middleton said represents one unified country made up of many individuals.

“Please take time to read the words, to learn and interpret this place, and honor those we have lost, honor those still serving, honor those that have served and honor all those veterans families.”
—Matt Miller, co-chair of the memorial committee and retired U. S. Navy commander

Metal of Honor Recipients:

James Okubo - Military Portrait

James Okubo

Okubo, who was born in Anacortes, became a medic and was nominated for the Medal of Honor after climbing into a burning tank and carrying out a crewman. He was awarded the Silver Star, but in 2000 it was upgraded to the Metal of Honor.

Okubo became a dentist after the war and died in 1967.

Young - Military Portrait Opens in new window

Gerald Young

Young, who retired to a 30-acre Guemes Island farm, was sent to help rescue Army ground troops in Laos on Nov. 8, 1967. His aircraft was hit and crashed. He evaded the North Vietnamese troops until he was rescued 17 hours later. He received the Medal of Honor in 1968.

Young retired from the Air Force in 1980 and died in 1990.