Original installation view
Example (base of HML/HMLA-167).
Squadron Members, 11/6/14
At the squadron reunion dinner in San Diego on 12 Sep 2014, I briefed the condition of the VMO-6 Memorial in the Semper Fidelis Memorial Park, National Marine Corps Museum, Dumfries, VA, and recommended some upgrades and enhancements. The purpose of this email is to provide the details of my recommendations and request your support.
The below picture of the monument was taken in October 2013 after the shrubs were planted and mulch was spread, at my expense. The upgrades were taken because the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation (MCHF) was doing a marginal job of park maintenance and weeds were growing over the stone retaining wall and walkway around the monument. The 10 Firepower Nandinas plants were chosen because they were advertised on the web and by the nursery to be "deer resistant." However, that has not been the case and the plants last winter were almost destroyed by deer and other animals in the park and, over the summer they have not grown out to a satisfactory condition. In consultation with nurseries in the area, the plants will be replaced in the Spring with Barberry bushes that have short thorns that are not tolerated by animals.
This year, the memorial park began to look like a poorly maintained park due to a lack of adequate attention. The park displayed drainage problems, washed out gravel/rocks along each side of the main walkways, inadequate control of weeds, and little or no removal of fallen tree branches. I complained to the MCHF that the park was beginning to look like a neglected state park and, apparently, I was not the only person to do so because they recently advertised a "Request for Proposal" and will soon award a contract to correct drainage problems, add new gravel, and provide better maintenance throughout the park. The selected contractor should provide adequate maintenance of our memorial including the improvements we put in place.
In March 2014, members of HML-167 dedicated their memorial that is only 75 feet from ours. If you are not familiar with their monument, Google them and review the details. One thing they did is impressive, that we did not consider when building the VMO-6 Memorial, is the placement of squadron logos or patches on a granite paver in front of the structure. A picture of HML-167's paver with patches is attached. The patches are carved into the paver and the outer circle of each is almost 12 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch deep. Carvings inside the patch circle vary in depth but most are 1/8 inch.
I believe that a similar paver in front of the our monument will greatly enhance the memorial. Therefore, I've been working with Kline Monuments located in Manassas, VA and I've agreed for them to make the following changes at the stated cost:
Replace the two scored concrete rectangles (as seen in the below picture) between the monument and the main walkway with one paver carved with two VMO-6 patches similar to HML-167's paver.
Use a Vermont granite paver that is two inches thick on top of concrete with length and width as depicted in the attached drawing.
Total cost is $3,800.
Although I didn't get everyone's agreement at the reunion dinner, almost all attendees stated their approval and I decided to agree to Kline's proposal and after receiving the Heritage Foundation's approval of the enhancement. The work should be completed within 30-45 days.
I hope you agree with the memorial upgrades/enhancements and will support the changes. Since we no longer have a VMO-6 Memorial Fund, I have and will pay for the expenses from my personal resources. If you wish to help, I would be grateful for your assistance. Checks payable to me should be sent to my mailing address. A web page will be developed on the VMO-6 Memorial website that outlines the enhancements and provides a status of donated funds.
Thank you and Semper Fi,
8200 Chancery Ct.
Alexandria, VA 22308-1513
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARINES
Total of Each Category
Total Donated $9,100.00
(as of 29 Sep 15)
BGen John Arick
Art "AG" Friend
Charles "Chip" Jones
Kenneth "KD" Waters
Updated 5 Oct 15 12:30 PM
Memorial Enhancement Activities
11/19 - 12/14/14
12/18/14 - 12/29/14
1/15/15 - 3/21/15
#1 -- Dumfries Nursery planted 10, 3 gallon Firepower Nandinas, using peatmoss, perlite, fertilizer, and added mulch and gravel.
#2 -- Kline Memorials' proposal to carve squadron emblems in granite paver and install, 1/2 cost payment.
#3 -- 40 donated squadron checks.
#4 -- 2nd and final payment to Kline Memorials.
#5 -- 41st thru 44th squadron member donation.
#6 - 45th thru 49th donations.
• Hard rains are now causing flowing water with red clay sediments to cover some inscribed bricks on the backside near the retaining wall.
Drainage correction proposals have been requested from two contractors.
This problem will be corrected before replacing the plants around the monument and reapplying new mulch.
#7 -- Check to Galicia Construction Corp. for payment of services rendered: (** Contractor estimated total cost of $3,420
but after completion of work stated his cost was $4,400. Estimated cost was a signed agreement.
Negotiated balance of on-hand funds as final payment and contractor accepted.)
• Raised backside existing wall height 12" and extended wall length 6' on both sides
• Excavated and installed under drain pipe (French drain) around entire perimeter of monument
• Connected new drain pipe to existing drain line under concrete walkway in front of monument.
• Backfilled ditch for drain pipe with gravel.
• Extended side walls to the flair of existing monument walkway.
• Graded dirt around monument and seeded with placement of straw on top.
VMO-6 MEMORIAL ENHANCEMENTS COMPLETED 28 Aug 15
In addition to our memorial a new one has been built on the opposite side of the main walkway close to the VMO-6 structure.
The new monument is in honor of The Basic School (TBS) Class 3-57, and listed on the structure are the
names of the 551 second lieutenants who completed the class.
Carl E. Mundy, Jr. is one of the names. If that name is unfamiliar, he was the 30th Commandant of the Marine Corps from 1991 to 1995.
In meeting with LtGen Robert R. Blackman, Jr., USMC (Ret.) President and CEO Marine Corps Heritage Foundation,
and discussing our memorial enhancements and why their monument is so close, he stated that General Mundy selected the site
even though it wasn't a designated memorial site, and no one on the Foundation Staff objected.
General Mundy died on 2 Apr 2014 at the age of 78. In his memory his TBS classmates funded the building of a bench
opposite their memorial and extremely close to ours. Again, no one on the Heritage Foundation Staff objected.
Now that the construction and improvements are completed, and having recently spent some time visiting the park, I believe the two memorials
complement each other. The retaining walls are similar and the bench offers visitors a place to sit close by and reflect.
#8 -- 50th donation - 29 Oct 15
#9 -- Per donor's request, check sent to Galicia Construction Corp. to assist in paying down the contractor's financial loss.
Change 1. Latest changes below