Sept. 25, 2020 - Groundbreaking Ceremony

Due to the National Cemetery Administration’s Covid19 pandemic protection regulations, the ground breaking will be limited to fifty participants and guests.  The VA and NCA have been and will continue to provide a safe environment for activities at national cemeteries. Thus, the ground breaking program will proceed as an “invitation only” program. It will be filmed and many photos will be available in October on the website.  

Our wish is that all who would like to attend, could attend. We recall the many hundreds of veterans and their families and friends who were able to welcome THE GIFT to the RNC Memorial Day 2019. That was a heartwarming and joyous day.  But, at this point and like so many other celebrations and important life and family events, it would be taking an unwarranted gamble on the wellness and future health of a large group. Please understand and lift your words and thoughts to our Creator on the morning of Friday, September 25, at 9:00 a.m. – a request for a safe and strong construction and an expression of gratitude for bringing the American Indian Veterans Memorial project to fruition will help us reach our goal.



Friday, September 25, 2020


Riverside National Cemetery, 22495 Van Buren Blvd., March Air Reserve Base, CA 92518 (City of Moreno Valley, take the I-215 Van Buren Blvd. exit).   Upon entry to the Cemetery, there will be an Administration Center on the right; two driveways (right hand turn) lead to parking in the back or at the main entry to the Center. A short walk across the street from the Admin Center, enter the pathway that goes to a prominent flag pavilion which sets in between two small lakes separated by a low waterfall.  The program will be held at the Flag Plaza.


9:00 a.m. to approximately 10:15 a.m.

Nearby Lodging

Ayres Hotel and Spa, 12631 Memorial Way, Moreno Valley, CA 92553 – 855.516.1090 This hotel provides military rates and is the closest to the Riverside National Cemetery.
Across the lake, the approved location for the American Indian Veterans Memorial.

Cultural Activities

The Ground Breaking program will include a drum circle, traditional Native songs and the Jingle Dance.

Guest Speakers and Honored Guests

Dept. of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert L. Wilkie; National Cemetery Administration Under Secretary of Memorial Affairs Randy Reeves; Riverside National Cemetery Director Pete Young: National American Indian Veterans, Inc., Chief of Staff, and Louisiana Dept. of Veterans Affairs Secretary Joey Strickland, US Army Ret., accompanied by Leila Strickland; Sculptor of THE GIFT, Thomas Schomberg, accompanied by Cynthia Schomberg; Baxter Miller, RLA, President blma, inc., and President American Society of Landscape Architects; Riverside National Cemetery Support Committee Chairman Paul Adkins and RNCSC Treasurer, acting as MC, Michael Warren; Tribal Leaders and Area Donors representing donations made to honor their Veterans, Riverside National Cemetery Memorial Honor Detail, Chairman of the Board Daniel L. Smith III; UCR Professors Michelle Raheja and Robert Perez on behalf of The Veterans Legacy Program; Members of the American Indian Alaska Native Veterans Memorial Committee: AIANVMC Honorary Chairman and Tribal Chairman of the Rincon Band of Luiseňo Indians Bo Mazzetti, US Navy Veteran; Chairwoman Sharron Savage; Vice Chairman Frank Johnson, US Army Veteran; Veterans Representative Angelo Schunke, USN Retired; Saginaw Grant, Actor and USMC Veteran; Manny Mendivil USMC Veteran; Roy “Two Bears” Delarosa, USMC Veteran, Spiritual Advisor and Commander of Color Guard for Native American Veterans Association, Downey, CA; former AIANVMC Vice Chairman Michael Lombardi, accompanied by Juanita Lombardi and Jingle Dancer Dominique Lombardi

Additional Information about The American Indian Veterans Memorial and donations for its construction can be found at: and

The American Indian Alaska Native Veterans Memorial Committee operates in conjunction with the Riverside National Cemetery Support Committee, a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity. Tax ID #33-0722700

American Indian Alaska Native Veterans Memorial Committee, P.O. Box 172, Beaumont, CA 92223, 951-306-5656