Reverend Bhagavan Friend originated the concept for this new Veteran’s Memorial in 2003. (For Reverend Friend's initial rendering click  here.) For many years he was the prime mover in carrying the idea of building this Memorial forward.  Reverend Friend was the primary force in getting the City of Redondo Beach to put up $50,000 of “seed money” to finance the building of this Memorial.

Because of all the red tape involved in getting a Memorial built in Veterans Park, in 2005 Reverend Friend built a Memorial in his own front yard. (Click Here for The Empty Chair Memorial.)

Still determined to build a fitting Memorial in Veterans Park, in 2008 Reverend Friend was leading the meetings of the Committee (now called “The Task Force”) in preparation for raising money to finance the Memorial. He prepared a beautiful Statement of Unity that would unite Veterans and Civilians in working together to fund and build the Memorial (Click Here for Statement.) Reverend Friend was undergoing treatment for Prostate Cancer at that time and had to leave the meeting after presenting his proposed Statement as he was feeling quite ill.

In a sneaky and underhanded move, the remaining members of the Committee (now “Task Force”) VOTED REVEREND FRIEND OFF THE COMMITTEE BEHIND HIS BACK for “trying to make it a “Citizen’s Committee.” He was not told about this move and was subsequently repetitively lied to and told that he was “still on the Committee” and would continue to be a member in good standing.

In a prejudicial and discriminatory (and possibly illegal) effort to keep Reverend Friend from returning to the “Task Force,” the members further voted that NO CIVILIAN CAN SERVE ON THE TASK FORCE! The Board members made this rule AFTER the Task Force had accepted $50,000 in public money. This fact was announced for the first time by the President of the Task Force in a meeting between Mayor Mike Gin, Reverend Friend and two of the Task Force members. The meeting was recorded and the declaration is “caught on tape.”

Since the time the Task Force deceptively voted Reverend Friend off of its Board, the primary members of the Task Force have instituted a total BLACKOUT regarding Reverend Friend and STONEWALLED all references to him and his founding of the effort to build the Memorial and his tremendous contribution and efforts to make it a Reality. Even the City has staunchly refused to publicly recognize and credit Reverend Friend with his origination and effort to build the Memorial.

The Task Force has gone so far as to STRIKE Reverend Friend’s name from all aspects of the Memorial including refusing to even include his name on the Plaque that is on the Memorial and placing the brick that Reverend Friend bought in a remote and obscure location while placing their own in the most prominent place on the Memorial.

We, The Friends of Reverend Friend, believe that STEALING CREDIT IS WRONG. Indeed, some of those who are on the Task Force did not even join the Board until AFTER the Board had secretly voted Reverend Friend off of it. Yet their names are on the commemorative plaque while Reverend Friend’s name is not and they have been and are constantly given abundant public credit by the City and the press, while Reverend Friend is not even given an “honorable mention.”

On July 29, 2012, after a 12 year battle, Reverend Friend passed away from prostate cancer, having never been given credit for his work in originating the Memorial that now sits in Veterans Park.




  • We demand that Reverend Friend receive public, City recognition for his founding of the Redondo Beach Veterans Park Memorial and for his significant contribution to the building of the Memorial

  • We demand that Reverend Friend's name be placed on the plaque in Veterans Park in front of the Memorial along with the names of the other Task Force members as the founder of the Veterans Park Memorial, or, in the alternative, that another plaque be placed right next to the plaque that is already there, honoring Reverend Friend  for his founding of the Veterans Park Memorial and for his significant contribution to the building of the Memorial. We have even agreed to pay for the plaque.

Our demands are simple. We will not rest until they are met.