About the Memorial

History of the Memorial

In 2000 Santa Rosa County Commissioner Don Salter was the guest speaker at a ceremony held at Serenity Gardens on Memorial Day. At the end of the ceremony Commissioner Salter noticed that the veterans that had attended were having trouble moving though the cemetery because it is not ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible. He felt that even though our area has a huge military population, Santa Rosa County didn’t have a memorial dedicated to the men and women of our armed services.

Commissioner Salter approached the Santa Rosa Counties Veterans Advisory Council with the idea. Ralph Nesenson was the chairperson of the Council at that time. The Council thought it was a great idea and they started to research the project. To be able to raise funds for the Memorial a foundation required. The Santa Rosa County Chamber of Commerce offered the use of the SRCC Foundation. The other four chambers in the community also pledged their support.


The next task for the group was to come up with a design for the Memorial. It took them a full year to come up with a design. However, they still were not satisfied. Giles Yokel, and Mike Broussard of Hatch Mott MacDonald came in and provided several schemes for the Memorial, one of which the Committee decided to use. The group then brought in Andy Dewitt from the Art Council and Sam Nettles a local sculptor, to look at the design. They helped finalized the design for Memorial.

Choosing a Location

Next the group needed a location for the new Memorial plaza. Santa Rosa County donated land on Willing Street near the Riverwalk in Milton. The team and the community had all the necessities to move forward and construction started in February 2004.

Veterans Memorial Committee

  • Don Salter, Chairman
  • Robert Asmus, NAS
  • Mike Broussard, Hatch Mott MacDonald
  • Ed Campbell, SRC Veteran's Advisory Committee
  • Don Chinery, Public Relations
  • Bert Craig, SRC Veteran's Advisory Committee
  • Carl Craig, SRC Veteran's Advisory Committee
  • Beverly Hutching, Committee Assistant
  • Lydia McConnell, Committee Assistant
  • Ralph Nesenson, Office Manager / Coordinator
  • Sam Nettles, Sculptor
  • Margaret Porter, Pace Rotary Club
  • Ed Silva, SRC Veteran's Advisory Committee
  • Beth Siyufy, Pace Rotary Club
  • Harriet Tuck, I-Group, Inc.
  • Lee Tuck, I-Group, Inc.
  • Donna Tucker, Treasurer
  • Barb Turner, Marketing Chairperson
  • Giles Yokel, Hatch Mott MacDonald