A graveyard adorned with American flags and headstones, overlaid with the phrase "We gave some. Some gave All," are the images captured in a mural unveiled Tuesday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in downtown Mesa.
The mural was displayed for the first time at VFW Post 1760 when the Mesa Veteran's Day Parade ended in front of the building at 65 S. McDonald Street. It was the creation of 15-year-old David Tobler, who designed and painted the artwork for his Eagle Scout project.
Tobler raised the money for the materials and worked for about two months to create the mural, which he said he did as a tribute to veterans. He said the mural was his first effort at painting.
"I'm glad to honor our veterans and God bless America," Tobler said. He also presented local VFW officials with $365 he raised for the Veteran's Relief Fund.
"I was looking on the Internet and thought of the Arlington Cemetery," said Tobler, who was joined at the ceremony by his parents, four sisters and grandparents. "I thought it would be nice to do a cemetery."
Tobler came into the building and asked if he could do anything for his Eagle Scout project, said VFW post commander Jack Sepulveda. Post officials had been looking for someone to do a painting honoring veterans for the building, so the timing was perfect, Sepulveda said.
"Members were stunned when the mural was delivered," Sepulveda said. "We are truly honored to display this mural."
Sepulveda's wife, Roberta, president of the ladies auxiliary at the VFW, also praised Tobler's efforts.
"When you have young Boy Scouts being patriotic, it shows spirit and patriotism," she said.
Veterans in the audience Tuesday were impressed with the artwork, and the effort made by Tobler.
"It's nice that (young people) still think about the sacrifices the veterans have made," said Bill Harris, a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars who was sitting with his wife watching the parade when he found out about the unveiling of the painting.
Bill Brumme, a VFW member, told Tobler during the dedication that "what you did blew us away. You have no idea what it means to the members of this post," Brumme said during the unveiling.