Trade Group to Honor Fallen Marines


A monument installed at Camp Pendleton in 2011 by NAIOP San Diego is moved to Camp Lejeune, to be replaced by a new monument at Miramar National Cemetery. Photo courtesy of NAIOP

NAIOP San Diegothe local chapter of a national commercial real estate organization, plans to construct a monument at Miramar National Cemetery to honor members of the Marine Raiders Regiment killed in action.

The planned monument will replace the one the group installed at Camp Pendleton in 2011.


Designed by San Diego architect and former Marine Pilot John Turpit, the Camp Pendleton monument was intended to be permanent, but is being moved to Marine Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, where the Marine Raiders will be headquartered.
The Raiders had their headquarters at Camp Pendleton and Camp Lejeune, but the regiment is consolidated in one location.


“We feel terrible that the Marine Corps is consolidating at Camp Lejeune. We feel a loss for Camp Pendleton and San Diego with this large group of men and women leaving,” said Jeff Burges, Treasurer of the NAIOP Foundation, the charitable arm of NAIOP San Diego.
If the Marine Raiders move to North Carolina, “the monument should be there,” Burges said.

At the same time, NAIOP wanted to have a place on the West Coast where the families of fallen Marine Raiders could gather to remember those they lost.


“With the 3,000 mile distance, you’re not going to see a lot of families going on a trip from the West Coast to North Carolina to visit a monument with any frequency,” said John Garrigan, former pilot of Navy helicopter and former president of the NAIOP San Diego Foundation.
“It will be great to have an accessible location in San Diego,” Garrigan said. “These guys have done so much for our country. We just want to have something there for their dependents, all their families and friends, a place where they can go and reflect.

spear point

Turpit said he had not decided on a design for the new monument and wanted to speak with Navy officials.

“We have to make sure we honor what they want, just like we did for the first one,” he said.

The 2011 monument’s design was based on the Marine Raiders insignia which features a dagger and five stars representing the stars that make up the Southern Cross constellation seen in the Southern Hemisphere.

The monument is asymmetrical to represent the asymmetrical way the Raiders fight, attacking an enemy from land, sea and air, Turpit said.

“These Marines are what I call the sharp end of the spear. They’re the guys who knock on doors,” Turpit said.

Built by Sorrento Valley-based Burger Construction, the granite monument is meant to look like it is rising from the ground.

The 2011 monument bears the names of deceased Marine Rangers. Turpit said it has not been determined if the new monument will have any names engraved on it.

Continuous support

The NAIOP spent about $30,000 on the original monument and plans to spend about the same amount on a new one, said Karen Burges, executive director of NAIOP San Diego.

NAIOP for over a decade has supported Camp Pendleton Marines through its Adopt-a-Platoon and Adopt-a-Marine Buddy programs on multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Supporting the Marine Raiders has been an ongoing mission for NAIOP San Diego, said Mike McNerney, president of the NAIOP Foundation.


“We’ve had a lot of events for them over the years. We then sent out care packages while they were deployed, we had welcome home parties,” said McNerney, a graduate of the US Air Force Academy and executive vice president of Lowe. “They come to our house and they bring their kids and we’ve seen their kids grow up. It was a great experience for all of us.
With the departure of the Marine Raiders, Garrigan said NAIOP San Diego adopted the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion based at Camp Pendleton.

“It’s also a great unit with a rich history,” Garrigan said. “We will continue our support in any way we need.”

NAIOP San Diego
President: Eric Hepfer
Headquarters: Del Mar
Business: Commercial organization of commercial real estate
Members: 750+
Phone: 858-509-4110
Note: NAIOP members are made up of owners, real estate developers, investors and brokers.


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