Teen Doug Smith felt it was wrong to leave a memorial incomplete and in disrepair at his Granada Hills high school. He made it his project to bring it back to life. Colleen Williams reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on May 25, 2012.
Teen Doug Smith knew something was wrong when he saw old memorial plaques at his high school were in disrepair and had names missing.
That was several years ago, when he was a freshman at Granada Hills Charter High School in the San Fernando Valley.
"Originally, it was an incomplete list of names on old plaques that were rusting away. They’d probably been around longer than I’ve been alive," Smith said.
Smith said he recognized what the memorial was.
"I thought that didn’t seem right for the memory of the veterans," he said.
So he did the research and found the complete list of names of Granada High students who had died in the service of their country.
He organized and created a tile flag of the United States that now is part of the refurbished memorial.
It wasn’t an easy task. He had to get approval from the local neighborhood council and a variety of school committees.
It took him two years to get grant money and approvals, but Friday -- with a number of veterans, classmates, teachers and others looking on -- the school rededicated its memorial to its war dead.
It is the kind of memorial found at many schools across the country: names and dates on metal plaques.
In this case, a freshman student took notice and decided those who served their country should not be forgotten. His vision was realized just before Memorial Day.