Fallen Heroes Memorial will be located at I-5 Weed rest stop

Danielle Jester
A map provided by local civil engineer Nick Sinnott, above, shows the area where the Siskiyou County Fallen Heroes Memorial will be located.

The Siskiyou County Fallen Heroes Memorial ­– ­a project at the Weed rest stop that will honor local law enforcement, firefighters and armed services personnel who have died in the line of duty – is coming closer to completion after it was first proposed by former Siskiyou County Supervisor Bill Hoy nearly 15 years ago. A benefit dinner for the memorial will be held January 25 at the Yreka Community Center and will include a dinner, raffle and auction.

The completed memorial will feature two helicopters, a retired firefighting air tanker, three granite slabs each honoring a separate branch of fallen heroes, a flag pole, benches, and silhouettes depicting firefighters, law enforcement and armed services personnel.

The air tanker was the piece that inspired the memorial. Hoy worked with CAL FIRE in 2004 to obtain the aircraft and had it delivered to the Weed Airport. The memorial will be located next to the northbound Interstate 5 Weed rest area.

As with virtually any project of its kind, the Siskiyou County Fallen Heroes Memorial has taken a bit longer to come to fruition than initially planned. Many local agencies and individuals are involved in the planning and labor, and there is a long list of moving parts that have to be considered, negotiated and renegotiated.

A group of eight locals – which included Siskiyou County Veteran of the Year 2018 Tony Ginocchio, CAL FIRE representatives Phil Anzo and Suzi Brady, design professional Nick Sinnott, Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey, and local veteran Bob Singleton – met on Dec. 5 to discuss the latest developments and hurdles surrounding the memorial project. They made their way through a 17-item to do list.

Sinnott gave a report detailing the maximum height allowed for the memorial’s flag pole and the property line setback for the project. Siskiyou County Associate Planner Rachel Jereb determined that there is a zero foot setback for the memorial, which will be at the Weed Airport exit right off Interstate 5.

That setback is one that the group is happy to have – it means more space to work with than they previously thought. “Now that we have the zero foot setback, a lot of questions go away and a lot of options come open,” Sinnott told the group.

Sinnott also brought a map of the area surrounding the memorial where he had marked positions for seven highway signs that will direct travelers to the memorial no matter which route they’re taking.

The group determined that an eighth sign would be necessary. Obtaining approval for those signs has not been possible thus far, as Sinnott’s attempts to reach the Caltrans sign coordinator had not been successful, he said.

Ginocchio also brought some good news. Having submitted the necessary paperwork, he said he expects the Siskiyou County Fallen Heroes Memorial will be approved as a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit.

The funding from the memorial has come from a variety of sources including T shirt sales, a $5,000 donation from the Sheriff Lopey Foundation, a previous benefit dinner and a poker run.

Prizes available for raffle or auction at the January benefit dinner will include a 70 inch smart TV donated by Walmart, a cord of wood, and three guns.

Local businesses interested in donating items to be raffled or auctioned at the dinner may call CAL Fire Public Information Officer Suzi Brady at (530) 598-2622.

* Editor's note: This story has been updated to indicate that Nick Sinnott is a design professional, not a licensed civil engineer, as indicated in a previous version of this story. Mr. Sinnott attempted to make a correction in January of 2020. The Mt. Shasta Area Newspapers and the Siskiyou Daily News regret the error.