Phoenix Veterans Memorial Dedication


The Arizona Rainbow Memorial

In 1998 veterans in Phoenix wanted to honor American veterans with a wreath laying ceremony. In the search for an appropriate place to pay tribute and honor our fallen comrades, we realized that the only memorials at the National Cemetery in Arizona were by groups such as American legion, who are adamantly opposed to glbt service in the military.

Some of us wondered why there was no memorial for gays, and why we couldn’t have one. After consulting with the Cemetery Director and using guidelines for Memorial design, we designed, created, and paid for our own. One that truly includes all veterans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Designers of the Rainbow Veterans Memorial included; Rowe Babcock, Franc Gaxiola, Monica Helms, Don Porter, Ben Rolfe, Nick Shinstine, Wally Straughn, and Calvin Va ness. Donors from across the United States have contributed to the success of this effort.

It is with deep honor that the Arizona Rainbow Veterans dedicate the Rainbow Veterans Memorial to all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender veterans and their loved ones.

Franc Gaxiola

Franc Gaxiola

Welcome (click here to read the convocation address)

Franc Gaxiola
President, Arizona Rainbow Veterans

Opening Prayer
Rev. Charles Coppinger
Chaplain, Arizona State Legislature

Star Spangled Banner

US flag

Military Theme Songs

Wild Blue Yonder

Caissons Go Rolling Along

Anchors Aweigh

Semper Fidelis

Benediction (click to read this memorable address)

Rev. Patrick Stout
Pastor, Community Church of Hope

Wreath Presentation and Personal Memorials “The Charge of Remembrance”

Pictures of the Memorial Wreath Presentation
Wreath donated by Rocky Mountain Chapter, GLBVA

Jim Donovan

President, Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Veterans of America

America The Beautiful

God Bless America

Final Tribute

Rev. Charles Coppinger
Chaplain, Arizona State Legislature


James Donovan (left), National President of GLBVA, and Wally Straughn (right), originator of the Monument, pay tribute to the memory of those who have fallen.