Rancho Sahuarita and its residents used the Fourth of July to dedicate its Armed Forces Tribute to the five branches of the U.S. Military.

Monday’s private ceremony will be followed by a bigger public dedication in the fall.

Maj. Gen. Edward Maxwell, Assistant Adjutant General of the Arizona Air National Guard, told the crowd of about 60 that it was refreshing to note the memorial stemmed from a request by the community to honor the military and not from the military.

The memorial includes five pillars, one for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Marines, and a centerpiece bronze statue of a kneeling soldier. Each 10-foot pillar, finished in porcelain, includes information and photos from each branch along with its flag. The monument includes benches and is lighted part of the evening.

The memorial is a nod by Rancho Sahuarita to its many veterans and active-duty members of the military. It is located at Parque del Rio, near the south satellite pool.

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