Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it called the Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial?

The Memorial started in Spring 2003 as an effort by people living in the Village of Northwood within the city of Irvine to remember and honor the American service men and women who were dying the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. A temporary memorial was erected annually in the largest park in the village called Northwood Community Park. Soon, those helping create the annual temporary memorial and attending the ceremonies were coming from all over Southern California.

Does it cost to visit the Northwood Memorial?

No, the Memorial is open to the public without charge. In addition, name rubbings can be done by visitors using free materials provided in the nearby Park office. See the Visiting page for more details.

Who owns and runs the Memorial?

The temporary memorials that were created annually from 2003 through 2010 were made from donated materials and the efforts of local residents who created the lists of the fallen, found photos of them, and decorated the posts holding the lists. The city and park administrations kindly supported the efforts from the sidelines. The permanent Memorial was a joint effort between residents of Northwood and the city. Each partner contributed to each stage of the project with the actual construction done by a Gold Star Father along with volunteer contractors. The Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial was dedicated on November 14, 2010 as part of the Northwood Community Park. A Northwood Memorial Steering Committee made up of area residents and city and park staff members coordinates events and activities involving the Memorial.

My Loved One served in Afghanistan/Iraq and died later from non-combat related causes. Can we arrange for his/her name to be added to the Memorial?

As part of the process of defining the mission of the Memorial, community members and city staff members discussed how to decide whose name would or would not be included. We concluded it was best to defer to a source that would have all the facts at hand to make that determination on an consistent individual by individual basis. Accordingly, we rely exclusively on the official casualty lists for Afghanistan and Iraq published by the Department of Defense for the names to be included on the Memorial.

Is this the only Memorial for the Fallen Heroes of Afghanistan and Iraq?

No, there are several Memorials across the country that have names of the Fallen Heroes from these conflicts. Most are limited to those who lived in the given community or state where the memorial is located. Some include the names from across the country as part of a larger memorial honoring those who died in all conflicts following the Vietnam War. As far as we know, the Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial is unique in being dedicated exclusively to honoring by name all the American Fallen Heroes from just the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Where should I send my thoughts, comments, or suggestions to regarding the Northwood Memorial or the web site?

Thank you for offering ideas on making the Memorial or web site better! Please send any of those items to us at