The east wall of the Knabe Exchange building just got a new facelift. Last month, more than 60 Century Villages at Cabrillo (CVC) residents and volunteers gathered over a weekend to help paint the 36’ x 15’ mural honoring veterans and CVC’s naval history. At the helm was nationally recognized muralist Art Mortimer, who spent almost a year researching and developing the art piece and another month prepping, painting and finalizing it.
The idea for the mural was born almost 10 years ago when the building, which houses the U.S.VETS dining hall, the “Old Soldiers” Deli and the Cabrillo Canteen, was being remodeled, but it took time to find the right vision and the right muralist to create a truly collaborative work of art and get it just right.
The dedication ceremony, held shortly after Memorial Day, celebrated that achievement but was also an opportunity to honor service men and woman at the Villages and across the nation. CVC’s own talented band, the Village Jam, made up of veteran residents from all five branches of service and coached by our community partner, Music Is The Remedy, kicked off the ceremony, followed by Cabrillo High School’s Junior Naval ROTC Honor Guard, testimonials from resident artists, and a speech from 7th District Councilman Roberto Uranga.
Like a search and find puzzle, the mural is rich in symbolism; every image represents one or more things. If you look close enough, you might see Herman the German, the famous shipping crane of the shipyard, or that the Air Force jets are flying in a “Missing Man” formation that was meant to honor vets who have passed away since moving to The Villages, as well as the service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Somehow, even in its simplicity, the mural was able to represent all five branches of the military: the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. We hope this mural will serve to remind everyone of the incredible dedication and sacrifice Veterans have made for us and our country and to honor their lives and legacy.
For more detailed explanation of the symbols on the mural and other CVC news, please see the latest edition of the Village Anchor, CVC’s own award winning newsletter.