Joyce Hill is in search of war veterans who have called Gilbert their home.
As she reads through piles of yellowed Gilbert Enterprise newspapers, the Gilbert Historical Society volunteer looks for the names of veterans to be added to a monument honoring World War II veterans or to two planned monuments that will honor veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars.
Hill is also compiling a list of every veteran who served in any war who lived or lives in Gilbert, not only those who died in wars but also those who returned home.
"If there’s anyone out there who needs their relative on the monument, I’d love them to call or come by," she said. "Once we’re gone, no one’s going to remember."
The Gilbert Historical Society is trying to fulfill an original mission of honoring every World War II veteran from Gilbert, while planning the two new memorials to honor Korea and Vietnam veterans. The new memorials, which haven’t been designed, will be located on either side of the current monument.
The World War II monument, located outside the Gilbert Historical Museum, at Gilbert and Elliot roads, was moved to the site from Town Hall a few years ago at a cost of about $8,000, said society president Mike Conner.
The historical society is selling tiles that surround the World War II monument for $50 to raise money for the museum project. Conner has engraved 46 tiles with the names of donors, with plans to engrave at least 30 more before Christmas that have already sold.
The tiles can be purchased at the museum at 10 S. Gilbert Road.
"It’s important. It’s a passion, the history of Gilbert," Conner said. "I grew up here. My grandfather and father were here. I don’t want to see the town lose all of its history."
Korean War veteran Robert Gamble, who now lives in Mesa but grew up in Gilbert, also volunteers at the museum and watches the progress of the monuments.
"It lets people know we’re thinking of them," he said of veterans.
• For information on the Gilbert Historical Museum or to purchase a tile to support the monuments, call (480) 926-1577 or visit