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City agrees to keep War Memorial cannon in Turlock
City crews prepare to move the Korean War aged cannon from the front of the War Memorial Building to the City's corporation yard in May. The cannon will find a permanent home in Central Park this fall. - photo by Photo Contributed

Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities Director Alison Van Guilder told the Turlock City Council last week that she could not foresee a time when the City of Turlock would want to “get rid” of the War Memorial Cannon.

“I can’t imagine a time where we would want to do that, but if for some reason that was the discussion, we wanted to have a broader discussion with our veterans groups first,” said Van Guilder.

In an effort to make sure that the War Memorial Cannon, which is believed to be the property of the United States Government, stays in Turlock, the Turlock City Council unanimously voted—to the greatest extent permitted by law—to offer the first right of refusal to purchase to local veterans groups in the event that the City should ever seek, be granted the authority, and desire to sell the cannon.

Local veteran groups include the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans, the Korean War Veterans Association and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

In the meantime, however, the City has no plans of moving the  Korean War era cannon. The City of Turlock has created a plan to continue to hold, keep, maintain and display the cannon within the city, where it has occupied a placed of distinction for over half of a decade.

The regulation of the War Memorial Cannon that was discussed during the last Turlock City Council meeting evolved from the Council’s approval last month regarding the relocation of the cannon to Central Park.

“This is the main concern that most of the groups have,” said DAV commander Andrew Mojarras in July. “The cannon is for the city of Turlock to be able to express appreciation and patriotism and we want to create some sort of safeguard so it doesn’t get sold or go away.

“We want to make sure that the cannon won’t get sold like how the War Memorial Building got sold to TID,” continued Mojarras.

The City of Turlock sold the 900 N. Palm Avenue properties, which previously held the War Memorial Cannon, to Turlock Irrigation District earlier this year. The Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission held public meetings to evaluate several locations that could potentially house the cannon, and Central Park was chosen.

The rededication ceremony for the War Memorial Cannon, following its relocation to Central Park, is scheduled for Veterans Day.

“I am looking forward to Veterans Day already,” said Mayor Gary Soiseth. “It should be a good celebration.”