Whittier Council votes to keep Veterans Memorial in Central Park, despite Quaker pushback – Whittier Daily News

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The memorial honoring the late Jose Ramos, a former Whittier Army combat medic who worked for more than a decade to see a day honoring Vietnam War veterans recognized, will remain in Central Park.

Overriding objections from members of the Whittier First Friends Church, Whittier City Council voted 4-0 – Councilor Jessica Martinez was absent – ​​on Tuesday July 12 to keep the memorial, which has drawn opposition due to its war scenes.

  • The 4ft by 10ft wall at Central Park, 6532 Friends Ave, Whittier, as shown March 24, 2022, is the first part of a memorial honoring Jose Ramos, a former Whittier Army combat medic who worked for over a decade to see a day honoring Vietnam War veterans recognized. Actual art has yet to be added. (Staff photo by Mike Sprague)

  • Shown is a rendering of one side of the memorial...

    Shown is a rendering of one side of the memorial for the late Jose Ramos, a former Whittier Army combat medic who worked for more than a decade to see a day honor recognized Vietnam War veterans . (Courtesy of the Town of Whittier)

  • Shown is a rendering of one side of the memorial...

    Shown is a rendering of one side of the memorial for the late Jose Ramos, a former Whittier Army combat medic who worked for more than a decade to see a day honor recognized Vietnam War veterans . (Courtesy of the Town of Whittier)

  • The late Jose Ramos and his bike he rode...

    The late Jose Ramos and his bike he rode in Washington, DC. to advocate for the establishment of a Vietnam Veterans Welcome Day. Now Whittier officials are planning a memorial to honor him and include the bike. Photo courtesy of Alfred Lugo

“I cannot look in good faith at the Ramos family and disrespect them and Vietnam veterans, especially hiding this memorial, Councilman Octavio Cesar Martinez said. “He should stay exactly where he is in Central Park, where he lived nearby and started his legendary historic bike ride from Central Park.”

But the Quakers have argued that Central Park, which they say was given to the community as a place of calm, is the wrong place.

“Please honor our local hero Jose Ramos by following your original decision to place his memorial with those of our other Whittier heroes,” longtime church member Gwen Woirhaye said in a letter read at the meeting by Marilyn Fant, referring to Town Hall of Whittier.

“By doing so, you will avoid dishonoring the memory and beliefs of the Quakers who, before selling building land, reserved the area now known as Central Park, to be a place of serenity and meditation for the inhabitants of the Quaker settlement, which predates the town of Whittier by a decade, writes Woirhaye.

But many veterans and others have said moving the monument would dishonor Ramos and the veterans.

The monument is nearing completion, but a dedication date has not yet been set, said Virginia Santana, director of parks, recreation and community services.

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