I was asked by my good friend, John, who had graduated from The Army & Navy Academy many years ago... if I could do some granite restoration and engraving on a current monument that was already in place?
John had told me how this Academy had affected his life... and how graduating from this academy had changed his future and career. The Academy was full of history, and John was one of the historians still involved. Knowing John now, he is a retired detective from Riverside Sheriff's Association. He told me how this academy changed him and put him on the right track in life. John asked me if I would go with him to Carlsbad and meet with Brigadier General Steven Bliss. I told John I would be honored, and the next day, we were on our way.
I was so impressed with General Bliss. What a grand, qualified man to lead these cadets into their future and be the "role model" these young men could look up to. I took the tour of the Academy and saw what needed to be done and we made arrangements. I was to spend several days restoring and engraving the name into the already, beautiful Viet Nam monument for North County fallen soldiers.
The graduating class of 1985 had donated this granite sign to the Academy as their graduating present.
It was my honor to make it brand new again. The first thing I did was clean the granite thoroughly,
then I started to paint the gold with the brightest oil based gold I could possibly find.
The granite monument was two sided... so both sides were to be painted. The monument's words were so light. To be seen from the street, the monument looked just like a plain granite slab without words.
The other side that is viewed from the street...
This is my friend, Brigadier General Steven Bliss. This is Veterans Day, November, 2010.
The event was spectacular with all the cadets in their finest dress... and heros of WWII, Veterans
of the hightest Patriotism and Love of America.
All four of these gracious, heroic people were medal recipients in WWII. They fought for America
for her Freedom, for America's Liberty. How priceless is their memories of WWII and their heritage.
I was also called in to update The California Veterans Memorial. It is adjacent to sports facility and across the street from the Academy.
This is the North County Vietnam Memorial. The names on the Memorial are the names of the soldiers that died in the Viet Nam war. Both sides of this monument in the shape of California is filled with names.
I was honored to be a small part of this memorial engraving. It was very important to General Bliss to
have every name on the monument before Veterans Day. One was forgotten and it was my job to put it on.
It was important to General Bliss and it was important to me!
To contact Katie West with questions on your upcoming projects, or brainstorming for a new project,
Please Call or Email Katie West: (417)683-9378 or Email: KatieWest@KatieWestArt.com