Vietnam vet shepherds a new Edmonds memorial to military

EDMONDS — Ron Clyborne dreams big.

Seeing that the city had no veterans memorials, Clyborne, a Vietnam vet, decided to do something about it. “Three years ago, we had nothing other than an idea,” he said.

That idea has since evolved into a plan for a $450,000 Veterans Plaza in Edmonds. The 5,500-square-foot memorial park will be sited on the grounds of the city’s Public Safety building at 121 5th Ave.

The goal is to develop an area so that veterans, their families, and the rest of the community have a place to reflect “and be appreciative,” Clyborne said.

Twelve people or groups submitted proposals for the design of the memorial park. “We went through a pretty rigorous process with citizens and city staff looking at designs we thought would be most fitting for the space and something that would really honor the veterans past, current and future,” said former City Council member Strom Peterson, who was elected in November to the Legislature.

The Seattle landscape architectural firm Site Workshop was selected to design the plaza. The firm also has assisted with the development of a new children’s play area at City Park.

“We looked at many high-profile memorials around the country and the world for inspiration,” said Site Workshop project manager Brian Bishop.

The largest single element in the plaza will be a 5,000-square-foot memorial garden. Plans for a memorial wall are being developed, but it will include elements honoring the entire U.S.military as well as separate recognition for its five branches.

The city approved spending $10,000 to jump start the first third of the park’s design, said Carrie Hite, the city’s parks, recreation and cultural services director.

The local VFW post is coordinating fund raising for the project. Clyborne said he hopes to be able to raise all the money in the next year. “It’s going to be an interesting challenge,” he said.

Clyborne said it was his commander at VFW Post 8870 who first pointed out that there was no veterans memorial in Edmonds. “I said, ‘Wow. You’re right. Most communities about our size have something — a street, park, plaza or building,’” he said.

Cities throughout the state have veterans memorials, including Arlington, Everett and Lynnwood, which have dedicated parks to honor veterans.

On the Capitol grounds in Olympia, there are memorials for veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, for POWs/MIAs and for Medal of Honor winners.

Clyborne said his family has strong ties to military service. He served in the Marines from 1962 to 1965. His father was a bombardier in WWII. And he has two nephews have done tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Clyborne’s prior work in community activities include a two-year stint as the president of the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce and helping organize the city’s July 4th programs.

He hopes initial design work on the plaza can be completed in about four months and the first phase of construction could begin this summer.

Veterans Plaza will honor all the men and women who have served in the military, he said. “Those of us here have a responsibility,” he said. “That’s how I felt when I was asked to do this. I’ve accomplished a number of things in my life. This is something really, truly special.”

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or salyer@heraldnet.com

To contribute

Donations to build Veterans Plaza in Edmonds may be made to: VFW post 8870, PO Box 701 Edmonds, Washington 9802. Indicate that the donations are for Edmonds Veterans Plaza.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Snohomish residents Barbara Bailey, right, and Beth Jarvis sit on a gate atop a levee on Bailey’s property on Monday, May 13, 2024, at Bailey Farm in Snohomish, Washington. Bailey is concerned the expansion of nearby Harvey Field Airport will lead to levee failures during future flood events due to a reduction of space for floodwater to safely go. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Harvey Field seeks to reroute runway in floodplain, faces new pushback

Snohomish farmers and neighbors worry the project will be disruptive and worsen flooding. Ownership advised people to “read the science.”

IAM District 751 machinists join the picket line to support Boeing firefighters during their lockout from the company on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amid lockout, Boeing, union firefighters return to bargaining table

The firefighters and the planemaker held limited negotiations this week: They plan to meet again Monday, but a lockout continues.

Bothell
2 injured in Bothell Everett Highway crash

The highway was briefly reduced to one northbound lane while police investigated the three-car crash Saturday afternoon.

Heavy traffic northbound on 1-5 in Everett, Washington on August 31, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
On I-5 in Everett, traffic nightmare is reminder we’re ‘very vulnerable’

After a police shooting shut down the freeway, commutes turned into all-night affairs. It was just a hint of what could be in a widespread disaster.

Anthony Brock performs at Artisans PNW during the first day of the Fisherman’s Village Music Fest on Thursday, May 16, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At downtown Everett musical festival: ‘Be weird and dance with us’

In its first night, Fisherman’s Village brought together people who “might not normally be in the same room together” — with big acts still to come.

Two troopers place a photo of slain Washington State Patrol trooper Chris Gadd outside District 7 Headquarters about twelve hours after Gadd was struck and killed on southbound I-5 about a mile from the headquarters on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Judge reduces bail for driver accused of killing Marysville trooper

After hearing from Raul Benitez Santana’s family, a judge decreased bail to $100,000. A deputy prosecutor said he was “very disappointed.”

Pet detective Jim Branson stops to poke through some fur that Raphael the dog found while searching on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Everett, Washington. Branson determined the fur in question was likely from a rabbit, and not a missing cat.(Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lost a pet? Pet detective James Branson and his dogs may be able to help

James Branson, founder of Three Retrievers Lost Pet Rescue, helps people in the Seattle area find their missing pets for $350.

Whidbey Renaissance Faire volunteers pose in their costumes. (Photo by Bree Eaton)
Faire thee well: Renaissance is coming to Whidbey Island

The volunteer-run fair May 25 and 26 will feature dancers, a juggler, ‘Fakespeare,’ various live music shows and lots of food.

Community Transit leaders, from left, Chief Communications Officer Geoff Patrick, Zero-Emissions Program Manager Jay Heim, PIO Monica Spain, Director of Maintenance Mike Swehla and CEO Ric Ilgenfritz stand in front of Community Transit’s hydrogen-powered bus on Monday, May 13, 2024, at the Community Transit Operations Base in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New hydrogen, electric buses get trial run in Snohomish County

As part of a zero-emission pilot program from Community Transit, the hydrogen bus will be the first in the Puget Sound area.

Two people fight on the side of I-5 neat Marysville. (Photo provided by WSDOT)
Video: Man charged at trooper, shouting ‘Who’s the boss?’ before shooting

The deadly shooting shut down northbound I-5 near Everett for hours. Neither the trooper nor the deceased had been identified as of Friday.

Two people fight on the side of I-5 neat Marysville. (Photo provided by WSDOT)
Road rage, fatal police shooting along I-5 blocks traffic near Everett

An attack on road workers preceded a report of shots fired Thursday, snarling freeway traffic in the region for hours.

The Port of Everett and Everett Marina on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Is Port of Everett’s proposed expansion a ‘stealth tax?’ Judge says no

A Snohomish resident lost a battle in court this week protesting what he believes is a misleading measure from the Port of Everett.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.