“My husband used to give me roses and now he will have something honoring him in the Rose Garden,” said Albro. “Now I feel like I’m giving him the roses.”
On Memorial Day, Albro will have the opportunity to view the commemorative tile in her husband’s name at the Memorial Rose Garden in Brentwood’s Veterans Park. Albro’s husband, who died 20 years ago, was a Marine who served during the Korean War.
Albro is only one of many local residents participating in the Brentwood Veterans Park Memorial Tile program, a fundraiser designed to assist in the completion of the third element of the park, and which offers an opportunity for family and loved ones to honor and commemorate those who served.
“It’s been going really well,” said Linda Stadlbauer, executive assistant with the City of Brentwood Parks & Recreation Department. “When people hear about the program they agree that it’s a nice way to honor their loved ones.”
The tiles are available to anyone who wants to recognize those currently serving or have served in the military. Albro liked the idea so much that she ordered a second tile for her brother David Sheals, also a Marine, who currently lives in Sonoma County.
“I thought it would be a nice gesture for my brother,” said Albro. “He’s such a great guy and has done so much for everyone. His tile will be side by side with my husband’s, so I’m happy about that.”
Debra Galey’s uncle Don Wilkins was a Navy veteran and a Pearl Harbor survivor. When he passed away six months ago at the age of 91, Galey began searching for a way to commemorate her uncle and heard about the tile program.
“I thought: this is it,” said Galey. “What a great way to honor him. My aunt is thrilled and I’m so glad they have a program like this for us to remember him.”
Natalie Dimitri got the same idea when she learned of the city’s memorial tile program. Dimitri’s father, longtime Brentwood resident and businessman Larry Lindsay, was an Army paratrooper who served three tours in Vietnam. Lindsay passed away last September at the age of 67.
“I knew right away that this would be something nice to do for him,” said Dimitri of the tile program. “The reason my sisters and brother and I decided to this was because he was really proud of the time he spent in the military. He was a hero to many and he was our hero. He raised us all to be good little soldiers, and even though he wasn’t one to appreciate seeing his name everywhere, I know he would appreciate the sentiment behind this.”
Currently two of the three planned memorial phases of the Veterans Park are complete. The third and final portion will be a quiet and contemplative area in the northwest corner of the park featuring white granite blocks, benches and shade trees. The city is working in conjunction with local veterans groups to raise $140,000 to complete the project. The tile project is part of the fundraising effort.
Tiles are still available for purchase. The donation amount is $100 per line. For more information and details on the program, call the Parks and Recreation office at 925-516-5444.