Updated 11 a.m. to correctly reflect the council vote as three to two with Inman and Mott dissenting with the choice of the Third and Main location. Thank you to council member Inman for the correction.
A Napa High School senior wept with emotion Tuesday night after the city council voted three to two in favor of locating her proposed war memorial at the southwestern corner of Veterans Memorial Park, at the intersection of Third and Main streets.
The council heard more than three hours of public comment on the topic, much of it from war veterans and other supporters of Alyssa DeBenedetti's planned memorial to local service members killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The memorial sculpture of a "battle cross" — an M16 rifle, combat boots and helmet — will replace the popular "Fish On" sculpture at the prominent downtown intersection, if city legal staff can work out an agreement with scupture Terence Martin.
In February, a majority of council members had told DeBenedetti — who developed the war memorial proposal as her senior project, required for graduation from the Napa Valley Unified School District — that she and local veterans could pick the location for the battle cross. They chose the current location of "Fish On."
But sculptor Martin's contract with the city allows his gleaming metal fish to remain in its current location for another year, while DeBenedetti's plan is to replace it with the battle cross by Memorial Day or the Fourth of July.
According to a report in the , about 40 people spoke at Tuesday night's meeting, which concluded with all council members exceot Juliana Inman and Peter Mott voting to move ahead with the Third and Main location for the battle cross.
While many people said the busy intersection was a good place for the war memorial, others objected, saying the war dead deserved a more peaceful place to be remembered.
"I wish we could have done better," said veteran David Ybarra.
You can see and hear the complete public testimony and council discussion in the video from the meeting, embedded with this article.