Art teacher designs war memorial

Chronicle Staff

Video Art teacher Cheri Gaulke is designing a memorial for Filipino World War II veterans to be unveiled on Veterans’ Day, Nov. 11. The memorial was commissioned by Councilman Eric Garcetti ’88 and is located in Lake Street Park in Historic Filipinotown.

The Philippines, then an American territory, had its young men drafted for the Allied war effort.

The soldiers were promised compensation by the American government for their efforts, but the Philippines was granted its independence at the end of the war and the compensation, called equity by the veterans and their descendants, never came.

Gaulke says her design is for the memorial to consist of five large black granite monoliths with one letter from the word valor etched into each stone.

Two granite benches face the back of the monoliths, where the story of the Filipino veterans is inscribed in text and pictures.

The benches have the word valor written on them in both English and Tagalog, the national language of the Phillipines. The first four monoliths tell the history of Filipinos in the war and the last one details the struggle for equity.

Gaulke originally submitted designs for permanent street medallions in Historic Filipinotown. Her designs were turned down, but she was instead selected to design the memorial. She then met with veterans to hear their stories.