In the Spring of 2003, shortly after the war in Iraq began, a man living in the Northwood Village area of Irvine felt that the American troops dying in the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq deserved recognition. He purchased some lumber and set about creating individual crosses painted with the names of all those Americans who had died. He then erected those markers in the Northwood Community Park to serve as a daily reminder of the casualties being suffered in the conflicts.
OC Register article 11/13/10
A nice article in the November 13, 2010 Orange County Register about the history of the memorial can be found at www.ocregister.com/news/memorial-275719-city-volunteers.html#article-photos.