Armed Forces Memorial Amphitheater Planned for Miramar National Cemetery
Support Foundation Launches ‘Virtual Gala’ Fund Drive for Amphitheater
In normal times, Miramar National Cemetery hosts commemorative services on Memorial Day weekend, Veterans Day, and at other times during the year. Held in the Flag Assembly Area, the services draw hundreds. Hampering enjoyment of these patriotic events: a lack of permanent guest seating.
The Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation, sponsor of the Avenue of Flags, the Veterans Tribute Tower & Carillon, and the annual veterans services, has launched a project to build the Armed Forces Memorial Amphitheater with permanent seating in the Flag Assembly Area. The Support Foundation is working closely with cemetery leadership and with the VA’s National Cemetery Administration on the design of the Amphitheater.
Constructing the Amphitheater and funding the maintenance endowment required by the VA is expected to cost between $450,000 and $500,000—the largest project the Support Foundation has yet undertaken at Miramar National Cemetery.
“We’re dedicating our 5th Annual ‘Virtual Gala’ fund-raiser to the Armed Forces Memorial Amphitheater,” said Charlie Inot, Support Foundation President & CEO. “We’re asking corporations, members of veterans’ organizations and civic groups, as well as the public, to help make this vision for Miramar a reality through their generous contributions.”
A description of the Amphitheater, and information on how to contribute to the project through the Virtual Gala website, may be found at https://gala.miramarcemetery.org/. The fund drive will continue through the end of 2020.
“The successful addition of amphitheater seating at Miramar National Cemetery will benefit tens of thousand of veterans, their families, friends and the general public in future years. Hopefully, in gratitude for the service of all veterans, we will receive strong public support” said Denny Schoville, Support Foundation Chairman of the Board.
As currently planned, the Amphitheater would feature long concrete benches arranged in a semi-circle within the Flag Assembly Area. The benches would be attractively fronted with stone matching that used throughout the cemetery. Upon approval from the VA, landscaping would include artificial turf areas between the seating and around the Amphitheater perimeter. The seating area design would comply with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements by providing handicapped access and wheelchair spaces.
“To accommodate guests at our veterans services in the past, we’ve had to set up folding chairs in the Flag Assembly Area,” said Sallay Kim, Support Foundation Vice President and chair of the Virtual Gala. “That’s not really satisfactory or comfortable for our guests, especially if the ground is too soft to properly support the chairs. Permanent seating would remedy that situation.
“Miramar National Cemetery is developing into a true ‘Garden of Heroes’ with beautiful and inspirational monuments dedicated to our nation’s veterans,” Kim added. “I would encourage our veterans and their families, and all who love and support them, to contribute whatever you can to this patriotic endeavor. The Armed Forces Memorial Amphitheater promises to be the crown jewel of Miramar National Cemetery.”
The Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charity. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law. Donors receive an acknowledgment from the Foundation for every contribution. Tax ID #65-1277308.
By Bill Heard
Public Information Officer