Bill Freeman

Bill Freeman, the founder of the Fontana Honor Roll Organizing Committee, holds a sign in memory of Army Sgt. Bryan Brewster, one of the more than 50 people from Fontana who have died in service to their country in foreign wars.

The Fontana Honor Roll Organizing Committee is pleased to announce its Mission Statement as follows:

“We are dedicated to building individual monuments in downtown Fontana for every serviceman or servicewoman with Fontana ties who gave their life while in service to their country and/or were Prisoners of War (POWs).”

Officially organized on Nov. 9, 2021, this dynamic committee’s membership includes, but is not limited to:

• Bill Freeman, Esq., founder, Vietnam-era Army/Army Reserve veteran and former Fontana City Councilman (FOHI, Class of 1968)

• Janet Koehler-Brooks, Fontana City Treasurer (FOHI, Class of ’68)

• Congresswoman Norma Torres’ office

• Supervisor Janice Rutherford

• Supervisor Joe Baca Jr.’s office

• Fontana City Councilman Jesse Sandoval (FOHI grad)

• Fontana City Councilman John Roberts

• Retired Fontana Police Chief Larry Clark (FOHI, Class of ’74)

• Donna McGonigal, manager of the Fontana Ralph Broiles VFW Post 6563

• Gorge Santiago, executive director of secondary schools, FUSD (FOHI grad)

• Clarissa Trejo, FUSD Superintendent’s Office

• Ken Galasso, owner, Sierra Realty (FOHI grad)

• George Luther, owner, Automotive Paint Supply (FOHI, Class of’69)

• R. Dale Evans, Exchange Cub president

• Phil Cothran, owner, State Farm Insurance, Chamber of Commerce president (FOHI grad)

• Brad Freeman, FUSD teacher

• Lolly Clark, community representative (FOHI, Class of ’74)

• Lydia Wibert, Former Fontana City Councilwoman; Fontana Foundation of Hope

• Mark Taylor, former Planning Commissioner, Supervisor Rutherford’s office

• Vic Hizon, architect (ret.)

• Laura Abernathy Mancha, San Bernardino County Board of Education member; Joe Baca Jr.’s office; former FUSD Governing Board member (FOHI, Class of ’77)

• Mary Sandoval, FUSD Governing Board member (FOHI grad)

• Manuel Mancha, Former Councilman, owner, Mancha Real Estate (FOHI, Class of ’77)

• Russell Ingold, editor, Fontana Herald News (FOHI grad)

----- THE FONTANA HONOR ROLL ORGANIZING COMMITTEE will kick off our community presence by participating in the Fontana Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 11.

Up to 60 veterans, veteran supporters, FOHI MCJROTC and Fontana Police Cadets, families of World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Global War on Terror casualties and other supporters of veterans will carry individual signs for each of the men with Fontana ties who died while in service to their country, as well as two POW’s.

Our committee is determined to raise $1 million to plan, fund and build these individual, personalized monuments with the honoree’s name, photo and story of how, when and where they died.

Additionally, I will publish a book with photos and stories about all now-56 men, with all net proceeds from sales to be used to donate books to high school history and government teachers, as well as veterans’ organizations, the San Bernardino County library system, the Fontana Historical Society, elected officials and interested members of the community.

Preliminary plans include groundbreaking on Memorial Day, 2022 and dedication of the site on Memorial Day 2023. The committee will also march in the 2022 and 2023 Fontana Days Parade and will maintain an exhibit on the annual Fontana Days carnival grounds. A “traveling exhibit” will also visit all Fontana high schools to educate and inform students about the near-60 Fontanans who fought to preserve their freedoms.

Individuals, organizations and businesses interested in supporting this most worthy cause may contact me at (951) 505-4114 or

(Bill Freeman is a Fontana resident.)

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