The Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation has launched a project to build an Armed Forces Memorial Amphitheater with permanent seating in the cemetery's assembly area.
The foundation, which sponsors the Avenue of Flags as well as the Veterans Tribute Tower & Carillon and the annual veterans' services at the cemetery, is working on the design of the amphitheater with cemetery leadership and the VA's National Cemetery Administration.
The Veterans Affairs-required construction guidelines for the amphitheater and maintenance endowment are expected to cost between $450,000 and $500,000 -- the largest project the foundation has yet undertaken at Miramar National Cemetery.
No federal funds will be spent on the project.
"We're dedicating our fifth Annual 'Virtual Gala' fundraiser to the Armed Forces Memorial Amphitheater," said Charlie Inot, the foundation's president and CEO.
"We're asking corporations, members of veterans' organizations and civic groups, as well as the public, to help make this vision for Miramar a reality through their generous contributions."
The plan for the amphitheater includes long concrete benches arranged in a semicircle within the existing flag assembly area. The benches would be fronted with stone, matching that used throughout the cemetery. Landscaping plans include artificial turf areas between the seating and around the amphitheater perimeter.
The seating area is designed to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements by providing handicapped access and wheelchair spaces.
"To accommodate guests at our veterans services in the past, we've had to set up folding chairs in the flag assembly area," said Sallay Kim, the foundation's vice-president and chair of the virtual gala. "That's not really satisfactory or comfortable for our guests, especially if the ground is too soft to properly support the chairs. Permanent seating would remedy that situation."
Support foundation chairman Denny Schoville said "the successful addition of amphitheater seating at Miramar National Cemetery will benefit tens of thousands of veterans, their families, friends and the general public in future years. Hopefully, in gratitude for the service of all veterans, we will receive strong public support."
The fund drive will continue through the end of 2020. To make a donation or to participate in the gala, click here.