Hillhouse also Instrumental in Helping Make Memorial for Veterans, First Responders and 9/11 Heroes a Reality
Retired Major General Kent Hillhouse of Cushman & Wakefield’s Silicon Valley office was recently presented with the Veteran of the Year Award from Evan Low, State of California Assemblyman whose district includes the Silicon Valley. General Hillhouse received an American Flag that flew over the Capitol by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo for the work he has done with both the Veterans Memorial & Support Foundation of Los Gatos and the Association of the United States Army – Silicon Valley Chapter in assisting Veterans.
The honor was bestowed during the dedication ceremony for the Foundation’s Flame of Liberty Veterans Memorial in Los Gatos (Silicon Valley), California, conveniently situated in an idyllic Redwood grove area on the front lawn of the Los Gatos Civic Center located at 110 East Main Street. The dedication ceremony was attended by more than 1,100 people consisting of local and state dignitaries and community members together with hundreds of veterans, military and service men and women, and their families. The ceremony also aired live on channel 15 on the 4th of July.
The keynote speaker for the ceremony was General Herbert Raymond (H.R.) McMaster, U.S. Army Retired and 26th National Security Advisor to the U.S. He is also known for his roles in the Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. There were also several speakers and performances from high ranking city and state officials, veterans, family members of our heroes, and others.
A small committee of Veterans and patriotic volunteers gave birth to the Veterans Memorial & Support Foundation of Los Gatos in 2012, to which Major General Hillhouse also proudly serves as Board President. He was also instrumental in spearheading the development of the Veterans Memorial, working diligently through a long process which after seven years paved the way to help make the beautiful memorial a reality. Silicon Valley-based Devcon Construction was responsible for building the Memorial which commenced construction in January 2019 and opened in June.
The Veterans Memorial & Support Foundation of Los Gatos has three tenets to its mission: fund in perpetuity, support for the needs of active service members, veterans and their families; educate the community on the sacrifices borne by those who protect America’s freedom; erect a world class memorial in the heart of Silicon Valley that delivers honor, respect, gratitude and healing to our active military service members, veterans, first responders and two 9/11 heroes who forced the terrorist hijackers on United Flight 93 to crash the aircraft in a Pennsylvania hillside as opposed to our Country’s Capitol building.
The Veterans Memorial is intended to recognize the courage and loyalty demonstrated by the brave men and women who have fought in conflicts, cataclysmic war and in so many ways, defend the freedom that defines America. For some, their heroic contributions were their last act of devotion.
“The memorial has a calming effect akin to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. People want to honor those who have served and their families. It has a healing effect,” expresses Hillhouse, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War.
The Flame of Liberty is a thought-provoking work from acclaimed artist Frank Kocian Morris—a world renowned artist and who was also selected by the U.S. Treasury to serve as a Master Designer for the U.S. Mint. Inspired from the Statue of Liberty, the centerpiece of Morris’ design is an eternal flame which he says is the universally recognized symbol for remembrance. The glass and metal design concept also resembles that of the jeweled Faberge egg. One sees the Soldier’s Cross internal to The Flame of Liberty as the viewer approaches the platform. The size of the Soldier’s Cross is smaller than the flame representing the theme that the sacrifices of a few deliver the liberty enjoyed by many.
Another special tribute in the memorial are the thousands of pavers currently and continuously being added to the Los Gatos memorial site honoring the fallen men and women who have bravely helped serve and protect the United States of America. The public is welcome to purchase pavers which can be dedicated to a veteran or service person of their choosing.
The memorial also features a historic bell honoring all First Responders. Unveiled at the ceremony, the bell, once used as the town’s fire bell to call together the volunteer fire fighters in the event of a fire, was struck three times by Korean War veteran John Lochner, who also serves as the Board Director, Co-Chair of the Foundation’s Building & Maintenance Committee. The bell’s inscription reads, “Some Run Toward Danger When Most Run Away.”
There is also a large plaque dedicated to Todd Beamer and Mark Bingham, graduates of local Los Gatos High School, remembered for taking back control of United Flight 93 after the terrorists took over, and thwarting their plans to crash into the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. The plaque’s main inscription reads, “Extraordinary Acts on Behalf of Extraordinary People.”
And another key feature of the memorial site is the Wall of Gratitude, in which major donors will be recognized with dedications upon the wall, which hosts superb exposure by the entrance of the memorial’s focal point, the flame and memorial platform.
The memorial has and will serve as the venue for annual events using America’s national holidays—among them Memorial Day, July 4th and Veterans Day. The Civic Center Lawn is also used for concerts and shows e.g. Fiesta de Artes a wine and art show, Music in the Park concerts, and other celebrations during the spring, summer and fall. Concerts and events are heavily attended creating great exposure for the Veterans Memorial.
To learn more about the Veterans Memorial & Support Foundation of Los Gatos along with the Flame of Liberty dedication ceremony (including many memorable photos), as well as how you can help support either the Foundation and or their Veterans Memorial, please visit https://honoravet.org/. Imperatively, 100% of all monies donated brings honor, respect, gratitude and healing to America’s heroes.
More About Retired Major General Kent Hillhouse:
Graduating from San Jose State in ’66, Major General Kent Hillhouse, USA (Ret.) was commissioned as a Cavalry branched officer. He served with the 11th Armor Cavalry Regiment in Viet Nam from ’67-’68. Upon returning, he was assigned to a U.S. Army Reserve Division, the 91st Infantry Division (training) where he served in numerous command and staff positions culminating in the command of the Division. For his terminal assignment, Kent served as the Deputy G-1 on the Army staff in the Pentagon from ’96 – ’01. Residing with his wife in Los Gatos, he is a long time resident of Silicon Valley who believes in the importance of “supporting all services of our military both Active Duty, Guard and Reserve, Retirees and Veterans.”
To also view a recent Cushman & Wakefield Veterans’ Voices blog tribute celebrating and honoring Major General Hillhouse, please click here.
Story by Joshua Deale, Communications Manager