WWII Memorial

A Legacy Engraved in Stone: Kern County’s WWII Veterans Memorial


Dollars Raised




A Tribute to Heroes Past and Present

The vast stretches of Jastro Park in Bakersfield, California, now house a poignant tribute: the Kern County World War II Veterans Memorial. Inspired by personal stories like that of Walter G “Jerry Lake” and his dear friend, Roy “John” Barker – who valiantly served but was tragically taken by war – this memorial is a testament to the brave men and women of Kern County. Whether they made the ultimate sacrifice or returned to rebuild the nation, their names are engraved for posterity, ensuring that we never forget their valor.

A Monumental Design with a Deep Resonance

Comprising six large black granite slabs, this semicircular memorial stands as a symbol of the six branches of the American Armed Forces during WWII. On one side of these robust granite structures, the names of the 689 Kern County heroes who lost their lives in action during the war are meticulously engraved. Turn around, and you’ll find names of the equally valiant veterans who served and returned home. Four smaller granite structures amplify Kern County’s relentless support for the Homefront. The centerpiece, an evocative sculpture by Benjamin Victor, paints a heart-wrenching scene of a mother and child, depicting the countless tears shed over telegrams bearing tragic news.

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The Pillars Behind the Memorial: Our Dedicated Committee

Behind this monumental effort stands the Kern County World War II Veterans Memorial Committee. Comprising passionate local volunteers like Ed Gaede, Wendy Ward, and Walter Grainger, a WWII Veteran himself, this committee embodies dedication. United by the noble goal of honoring the Greatest Generation, they’re ensuring that the legacy and indomitable spirit of our WWII Veterans are passed down, reminding future generations of the values of sacrifice, unity, and freedom.

Venture closer, and the memorial offers an educational dimension. The front section showcases an etched timeline, narrating significant events of WWII. This is not just a place of remembrance but an interactive space for generations to come, to learn, empathize, and reflect on the world’s history and the brave souls who shaped it.