GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4)– Where Highway 6 ends at Colfax Avenue in Golden, is a memorial that many don’t even know is there. It’s a one-of-a-kind U.S. Marine Corps Memorial.
When Paula Sarlls talks about the first time she visited the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial in Golden, she gets choked up every time.
“I’m a Marine, I’m also a Gold Star wife of a Marine that did two tours in Vietnam and he died from Agent Orange,” Paula said about her husband Tony. “The first time we came here was when we really felt welcomed home. We really felt welcomed home.”
The memorial sits on a three-acre triangle where Highway 6 and Colfax Avenue intersect. It’s been open since the late 1970s with minor improvements.
“It honors everything about the Marine Corps. The six Marine Corps divisions, the four Marine air wings, the people that help Marines get the job done,” she said. “It’s the only U.S. Marine Corps Memorial west of the Mississippi and the largest Marine Memorial of any kind west of the Mississippi.”
About five years ago, the U.S. Marine Memorial Foundation started plans to remake the space. Now they’re ready to start fundraising, hoping to gather more than $3 million.
“It’s not going to last forever and we want it to be something that will be here for a long, long time. The vision is to tell a story about why people become Marines,” Sarlls said.
The designs for the remodel include expanded sidewalks leading to the memorial. Some aspects would be expanded and added to include other branches of the military. There’s also plans for more flag poles and vegetation.
“I always tell people, the memorial is a place to remember, a place to heal,” Sarlls said.
The U.S. Marine Memorial Foundation is hoping donations can get the project off the ground this year.