V. Fontana makes Veterans Day Contribution

 

San Mateo Times - Carolyn Livengood

 

Following the Avenue of Flags Committee’s annual Veterans Day program held Nov. 11 at Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, the dedication of the newly installed Gettysburg Address monument was held near the main entrance of the cemetery. The National Cemetery Administration, in celebration of the 200th birthday of President Abraham Lincoln, honored his historical impact, especially his starting the national cemetery system, by acquiring 61 cast-iron Gettysburg tablets. In 2009, these tablets were distributed to older national cemeteries where the originals were lost over the years and to cemeteries developed after about 1950 that never had them. Golden Gate National Cemetery was one of the recipients.

 

The Avenue of Flags Committee, in support of Golden Gate National Cemetery, sought financial assistance to install the tablet. The Rotary Club of San Bruno, encouraged by longtime member Frank Hedley, volunteered to donate most of the nearly $10,000 installation costs along with a contribution from the Avenue of Flags Committee. After architect and San Bruno Rotarian Robert George designed the monument for the tablet, the Rotary Club, in partnership with the committee and Kathleen McCall, director of the cemetery, contracted with V. Fontana & Co. in Colma to make and install the granite monument and F. Ferrando & Co. in South San Francisco to pour the concrete foundation. Former “President Abraham Lincoln” read the Gettysburg Address prior to his unveiling the beautiful monument along with San Bruno Rotary President Wayne Parker, and this columnist, Avenue of Flags Committee president, Lincoln was realistically portrayed by actor John Musgrave with assistance from Kay “Kiki” Arnaudo and costume designer Mae Mattos, all three from Hillbarn Theatre.