The City of Santee will dedicate and take possession of a new Veteran’s Memorial this week on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11am. The memorial is located the corner of Mast Blvd at Fanita Pkwy. The public is invited. Free parking will be available at Padre Dam’s Customer Service parking lot at 9300 Fanita Parkway. MTS will provide shuttle service from the lot to the memorial. Masks will be required while on the MTS shuttle.
Planning for the memorial wasn’t overnight. Santee resident and Councilman Dustin Trotter wanted to use Mast Bridge, which spans over Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve, as a place in Santee to honor Veterans. As his plan was forming, Dustin piqued the interest of Michael Ranson. Michael lives and often walks in the area. Michael also thought the bridge should have a patriotic theme, explaining “If I could use my talent to thank the Vets, I will”. Dustin’s ideas and construction skills coupled with Michael’s design skills became a memorial. Both men have expressed a deep conviction to honor the veterans of their city.
“The memorial was completed using only private donations and will be gifted to the City” said Trotter. The City made the land available and the Santee Chamber of Commerce served as the fiscal sponsor. This allowed residents and businesses to make the donations necessary for the memorial funding.
The structure and interior monument sit on angle at the site to create an experience that does not have a definitive front or back and gives equal recognition to each branch of the military and is positioned to maximize the natural lighting of November. The memorial may be the first memorial in the nation to incorporate the Space Force shield into its design.
The wreath is of special significance. It was inspired by the native California Black Oak found in the mountains of San Diego County. Directly working with the welder to form this one-of-a-kind piece, Michael used natural cuttings for examples. Once complete, the entire wreath and base was powder coated in a metallic bronze finish.
Materials and colors are selected to compliment the natural surrounding environment. Subdued tones are purposefully chosen to create a calming and reflective experience. There are six randomly placed concrete seating cylinders representing each branch of the military.
Dustin Trotter is the owner of TDT Construction and serves as a Santee City Councilman. Michael Ranson is a custom kitchen and bath designer.
Dan Bickford, Guest Writer