Nature Area Ceremony Honors Fallen Heroes
War veterans gathered at the Earl J. Koobs Nature Area on Nov. 11th to honor 15 fallen Vietnam heroes during an annual Remembrance Day ceremony. Among the 200 attendees were survivors of WWII, Korean and Middle Eastern conflicts, and their families.
Absent for the first time in 15 years was Earl “Ranger Jack” Koobs—the La Sierra teacher who began the annual tradition and helped save his namesake nature preserve from subdivision.
Koobs, a WWII veteran, died last February at the age of 94.
The Earl J. Koobs Nature Area is now held in an educational trust, and children from nearby schools learn about science and nature in the sprawling five acres.
In 1973, Koobs and La Sierra students created the first known California Vietnam Memorial dedicated to alumni culled by the unpopular war. The towering monument was one of the first memorials raised for Vietnam War casualties in the U.S. Its inscription recalls 15 La Sierra High School alumni who died in the conflict.
Though La Sierra High is now closed, the monument remains, and every Nov. 11th a bell is rung for each man named on the sculpture’s rusting plaque.
“We send them our love and appreciation in any way we can,” said former La Sierra student Karen Pinnegar during last week’s gathering.
The monument is dedicated to the following men: Robert D. Anderson, Mark W. Burchard, Robert S. Byrnes, Jerry Cowsert, Kenneth R. Escott, Gary R. Field, Herbert Frenzell, Frank Thornburg, Ralph Guarienti, Larry H. Morford, Thomas C. Pigg, Randall B. Rainville, Kim Richins, Jeffry Tharaldson, and Robert A. Willis.
The Earl J. Koobs Nature Area is located near the intersection of Engle Road and Garfield Avenue in Carmichael. For more information call Linda Jones at (916) 944-2393.