Visiting the Memorial

The Memorial is officially open to the public 24 hours a day, year-round.

The Memorial is located at 4531 Bryan Avenue in Irvine, CA, about 1 hour south of Los Angeles and 20 minutes south of Anaheim.

  • Interstate 5 - Culver Drive (Exit 99)
  • Drive NE on Culver Drive approx. 1/2 mile (toward the mountains)
  • Turn Right onto Bryan Avenue
  • Northwood Community Park will be on your left in approx. 1/2 mile (intersection of Bryan Ave. and Yale Ave.)

    The list of engraved names is available on the Fallen Heroes page. If you would like to do a name rubbing, please stop by the Park Center to request the free materials, or send an email to us to arrange for a volunteer to meet you at the Memorial with materials. (See the Visiting page for more details.)

"To be killed in a war is not the worst that can happen. To be lost is not the worst. To be forgotten is the worst."

Pierre Claeyssens (1909–2003)


Ceremonies / Events

Memorial Weekend Ceremony
Sunday May 29th at 4:00pm

To better accommodate the many Gold Star Families who wish to attend our ceremony, we have changed the date of the event to Sunday rather than Memorial Day itself.

Please join us for our Memorial Weekend Ceremony on Sunday May 29, 2016 @ 4:00pm to honor our fallen heroes from all generations.  As always, we will pay special tribute to those Fallen Heroes of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It is our distinct honor to have Steven Keesal, a veteran of deployments with the Army's 75th Ranger Regiment to Iraq and Afghanistan as our guest speaker. Steve is currently the Treasurer of Fisher House which provides families with accommodations while their loved ones are treated at military hospitals in Southern California.

We are also honored to have Katrina Pesek singing our National Anthem and Never Be Forgotten

Lee Williams with Operation Kilo - Killed in Action Memorial Project will once again participate with battle crosses from each branch of our military. He will be placing ceremonial dog tags of the newly fallen heroes onto the battle crosses. 

A rifle salute followed by Taps will conclude the program. Everyone then will be invited to place a rose of remembrance in the Memorial and do a name rubbing. 

Joining us in presenting this ceremony will be:

  • Irvine Young Musicians
  • 2nd Battalion, 11th Regiment, 1st Marine Division Color Guard
  • Michael Apocada (bag pipes)
  • Pastor Frank Orzio
  • Jordan Fourcher - Eagle Scout
  • Boy Scout Troop 616
  • Tony Ruiz - Gold Star Father
  • Linda Ferrara - Gold Star Mother
  • Salina Jimenez - Gold Star Wife
  • Jim Ziegler - Taps

As always, please bring a blanket or lawn chair for your seating comfort during the ceremony.

If you are unable to join us, then please remember the fallen heroes during this Memorial Day holiday period in your own way.

Spread the Word!

Invite your friends and neighbors.




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Welcome to the Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial

Remembering the Fallen American Heroes of Afghanistan and Iraq Since 2003

Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial

This is the nation's first memorial dedicated exclusively to listing the names of all the fallen American service members in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Since 2003, a simple memorial for the country’s military fallen in Afghanistan and Iraq was set up in the Southern California city of Irvine by members of the community on the week before Memorial Day and then removed the week after Independence Day. For years the community and visitors from all over the country have come to share in the fellowship at the site of the Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial.

The names of every service member who has died in Afghanistan and Iraq had been displayed on the wooden posts of the temporary memorial. Now their names are engraved in granite in a permanent memorial, to assure that future generations of Americans will remember and honor them with gratitude as we do today. The panels carry the names of all those who died in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn.

Please join us in remembering these heroes. Your donation help defray the cost of maintaining the Memorial, ceremonies and services to Gold Star families such as free name rubbings. Please make your checks payable to "Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial, Inc." and mail them to Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial, Inc, 12 Brena, Irvine, CA 92620. Thank you for keeping the memory of the Fallen alive.

Gold Star Families

Welcome Gold Star Families,

Please look around the site to learn about this community effort to honor your loved one. Before you leave, be sure to stop by the Fallen Heroes page. There you can search for the location of your hero's name on the Memorial.

Then go to the Gold Star page where you can request that a rubbing (tracing) of your loved one's name be sent to you free of charge.


"Remember the Brave" - an original song

“And he, he gave his tomorrow

He left his life to serve his country

And he went where few men would follow

Willing to die for you and for me

So don’t let this man’s sacrifice be in vain

Remember his name.

Country musician Johnny Bulford wrote an original song for the organization "Remembering the Brave" to honor the fallen heroes of Afghanistan and Iraq. He graciously allowed us to include it in our dedication ceremonies and it has become an unofficial anthem of our Memorial. Please take a few moments to listen to it - we think you'll understand why we think it is such a special song: To learn more about the song and the artist, visit and click on his blog page.


Donations and Volunteers

We appreciate receiving monetary donations in any amount in the form of checks made payable to "Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial, Inc." (our 501(c)3 non-profit organization) and mailed to:

Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial

12 Brena, Irvine, CA 92620-1816

We also welcome the personal participation of volunteers throughout the year. Please send an email to expressing your interest and we will contact you in return. Thank you for your support.