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)


Find A Name

To find a name on the Memorial, click on this link or use the menu to go to the Fallen Heroes page. On the Fallen Heroes page are links to several PDF files containing the names and their locations.

Sentinels (pillars) are numbered with number 1 being the Sentinel closest to Bryan Avenue and Sentinel 5 being closest to the tennis courts.

Panels 1 - 10 face the flagpole. Panels 11-20 face the meadow. Panel 21 and the Medal of Honor Recipients Panel are on the Sentinel closest to the meadow.

Ceremonies / Events

2024 Memorial Day Weekend Ceremony - Sunday May 26th 4pm

Please join us in expressing appreciation for those who sacrificed their all for this nation and remembering them by name.

The guest speaker will be Maria Simpson, mother of LCpl Abraham Simpson who fought and died in the Second Battle of Fallujah in 2004.

After the ceremony audience members will place roses each bearing the name of a Fallen Hero at the base of the panels making up the Memorial.

Visitors will be welcome to light remembrance candles and do name rubbings to honor those who have Fallen. Park staff and volunteer docents will be on hand to assist visitors.

May God Bless our Fallen Heroes and the Gold Star Families they left behind

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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
  • Operation New Dawn
  • Operation Inherent Resolve
  • Operation Freedom's Sentinel

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.



Since World War I, the Department of Defense and the U.S. Congress have recognized a service flag bearing a Gold Star on a white field surrounded by red borders as symbol of respect and remembrance flown by family members of an American service member who has died in a combat operation or terror attack.

"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.



Your donation will help defray the cost of adding the names of newly Fallen Heroes, maintaining the Memorial, ceremonies, and services to Gold Star families like free name rubbings. We appreciate receiving monetary donations in any amount in the form of checks made payable to "The City of Irvine".

Please be sure to add the phrase "Donation for Northwood Memorial" on the message line of your check. Mail the donation to:

The City of Irvine

Attn. Community Services Superintendent

1 Civic Center Plaza

Irvine, CA  92606

Donations may be considered a charitable donation. The City of Irvine Tax ID is 95-2759391.

Thank you very much for supporting the Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial.