CALIFORNIA CONFEDERATE VETERANS MEMORIAL
This is an open invitation to a memorial event near Fresno, California. The details are:
11608 East Central Avenue
Saturday – April 28, 2012
There is a story to this stone being dedicated at this event. Around twelve years ago, the General Tyree Harris Bell Camp 1804 had a planned location to have a Confederate memorial placed. This place was at a local, rural, historical mansion and park which is maintained by the Fresno County Parks Department and the home of the Fresno County Historical Society. This was at Kearney Mansion and Kearney Park, Fresno County, and the site of a major annual west coast Civil War reenactment since 1990. Two years later, and after some changes in the Camp 1804 staff, this plan was “tabled.” My first awareness of this plan was another year later, sometime in 2003.
Under Commander Chuck Norred’s first two years, this Kearney Park plan came alive again. One other camp member took leadership and undertook a follow-up with Fresno County parks and the Fresno Historical Society. After another year went by, this gentleman ceased to be an active member and the follow-up fell through. The Kearney plan had, once again, been tabled. At the same time Camp 1804 leaders were developing the General Higgins-Colonel Flourinoy memorial event at Colma, California, near San Francisco. The Colma event turned out to be a huge success.
The Higgins-Flourinoy memorial was such an inspiring program, gathering and tribute. It brought together all the northern California camps, as well as Bay Area Sons of Union Veterans members who wanted to be a part of the event as well as attend. Two SCV National Headquarters staff members flew in to San Francisco, including the National Commander Denny Sweeney and his wife.
In the years since, Camp 1804 has continued to do memorials in the San Joaquin cities of Fresno, Madera, Dinuba, Visalia, and Laton. Then in the Fall of 2009, the Camp 1804 began fundraising for reviving the Kearney Park plan with a new memorial and event. Inspired by the “Colma model,” plans were made for obtaining a stone marker and plans for the words to be engraved as the focus of the memorial. The fundraising was a huge success and in March 2010 a stone marker was purchased from Black Rose Engraving in Arizona. !804 now had their stone monument. But in the following fall season, the arrangements for the Kearney Park location fell through. This was for a number of reasons, but the staff there recommended other locations that they would help with contacts.
It was another later, in the fall of 2011 that Bethel Cemetery in Sanger agreed to the placing of the monument at their site. It will be twenty yards from the final resting place of our Camp namesake General Tyree Harris Bell.
Here is the thing. This monument is a “first ever” memorial to and for all California Confederate Veterans. What is so huge about this are the words on the stone itself, which speak to those Veteran’s memory. The members of Camp 1804 hope that many of you can come to this memorial event. There are 2000 Confederate veterans buried in California. The words speak for us and proclaim to all the following on the stone:
Who Sacrificed All in the
Struggle for Independence &
The Constitutional Right