Sharing Songs and Prayers of Mourning at Carmichael’s Vietnam War Monument

Carmichael, CA (MPG)  |  Story and photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner
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Former CSO entertainer Delta Edun performed a Cherokee mourning song at the Vietnam War Monument in Carmichael.

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CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Carmichael's Vietnam Memorial was this week’s setting for commemorations to those who served their country. More than 160 visitors shared songs, prayers and remembrances. The patriotic program was augmented by a Cherokee mourning song, performed by former CSO entertainer Delta Edun.                  

The first-known monument to the Vietnam War in California is in Earl J. Koobs Nature Area at the now-shuttered La Sierra High School. First dedicated in 1973, the lofty steel structure and its plaque honor La Sierra graduates who died during Vietnam years. Memorial and Veterans Day ceremonies have been held in its shadow for 18 years.

The preserve is named for Earl (“Ranger Jack”) Koobs, a WW II veteran and La Sierra teacher. Koobs fought to keep the woodland area undeveloped and to establish a monument for his fallen students. He died in 2015. Under the aegis of Carmichael Kiwanis Club, the Koobs reserve is now a center for community service. Many Eagle Scout projects have been completed in its five acres; Carmichael Organic Gardening Club nurtures a butterfly garden; California Montessori Project and other supporters maintain woodland and trails for environmental education.

Thanks to a donation of $25,000 from La Sierra alumni, permanent bench seating was recently increased to accommodate larger event audiences.

Earl J. Koobs Nature Area is open to visitors from March to October on the second Saturdays of each month. For information, go to www.carmichaelkiwanis.org or visit the Koobs Nature Area site on Facebook.