Coronado City Council Accepts Donation of Wives League Memorial Sculpture | Coronado City News

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, July 19, the Cultural Arts Commission presented its proposal to install a new piece of public art in Coronado that recognizes the important advocacy work done by the League of Wives (also known today as the National POW League/MIA Families) which was started by military wives in Coronado. The Cultural Arts Commission noted that the memorial is part of the group’s efforts to preserve, reflect and celebrate Coronado’s history and cultural heritage.

The artists behind “The League of Wives” statue proposal are Chris Slatoff (who sculpted the Sheltering Wings public artwork in the Cays) and Elizabeth Pollnow. Their design features four women (representing the national community who have come together to support this movement), led by Sybil Stockdale, with a plaque behind them commemorating Stockdale and the Women’s League advocacy for the humane treatment and return of prisoners from war and accountability for soldiers missing in action in the Vietnam War, for families left behind, and more. As viewers approach the plaque, they become the fifth member of the group making this statue a living memorial and connecting threads from the past to the present day.

The design received input from various members of the local community, including military spouses, retirees, and veterans, as well as regular review by members of the National League of Prisoner of War Families/MIA, two of Stockdale’s children, Sid and Taylor Stockdale, historian. Heath Hardage Lee and the Coronado Public Arts team.

The statue is said to be about six and a half feet tall and about three and a half feet in diameter on a slightly raised ovular cement platform (about eight feet by seven feet) which has a small tilt towards the plate for accessibility. The material used for the memorial would be primarily a bronze alloy, and annual maintenance would be limited to the recommended two cleanings per year.

Three potential locations were selected as recommendations for the city council to consider, including two in Star Park in locations that would not interfere with the events taking place in the park or the ocean view. The other proposed location is in the park area near the Coronado Public Library (around Sixth Street) where it would be placed near the sidewalk on Orange Avenue. Each potential installation site would include the creation of a path to and around the statue that would allow it to be accessible to all.

During a public comment period, the Board heard support from some members of the community, including Allen Broughton, who spoke on behalf of the Coronado Marine Corps League. “These women represent all military spouses and the heroes that they are,” Broughton commented. Susan Keith also spoke during this time to express her support for the installation of this memorial in Star Park. “[Stockdale] was a remarkable woman and I was honored to know her,” Keith said. “I urge you to put this in Star Park. This is where we honor our heroes in this city.

In discussions among board members, all were very supportive of efforts to commemorate the work and movement to which Stockdale and the League of Wives have so powerfully contributed. Council Member Donovan raised concerns about the memorial being placed in Coronado given the limited amount of green space on the island and the countless number of heroes who may be honored through memorials in the future of Coronado.

Donovan suggested pivoting efforts to advocate for this statue to be placed in Washington DC with a smaller memorial to be placed in Star Park in Coronado. Additionally, he noted that the title adjustment on the statue plaque may have reflected the group’s current name as League of POW/MIA Families rather than League of Wives given that Stockdale had renamed the group shortly. soon after its founding to include everyone affected by the issue.

The other council members were in agreement that Coronado was the right place for this memorial statue, with council members Sandke and Tanaka expressing their support for its placement in Star Park in particular. Tanaka also suggested that the city agree to allocate up to $100,000 for installation costs rather than the proposed $75,000 to ease any additional fundraising burdens the Women’s League Memorial Project would have to do. in addition to what they have already donated to commission this piece, since the city’s general fund can respond to this and thus also show the city’s support for this memorial.

Council Member Heinze suggested the city look into even more significant locations in Coronado to have this memorial placed so that all visitors have the opportunity to see and learn about this important piece of history. .

A motion was moved to accept the recommendations of the Cultural Arts Commission with an increase in the installation fee limit to $100,000 and to direct city staff to review any other potential significant locations for the memorial on island, but to tentatively accept the proposed “Site A” at Star Park if no other viable site is proposed. The motion passed with all council members voting in favor except for Donovan, who abstained on the vote.

FLIGHT. 112, NO. July 30 – 27, 2022

Comments are closed.