LAKE ARROWHEAD ( — An Eagle Scout in Lake Arrowhead marked this Veterans Day by unveiling a monument dedicated to veterans.

It took Liam Gavigan a few years to raise enough money for the project.

“I dedicate this monument to all veterans, past, present and future,” said the high school senior as he cut the ribbon and raised the flags. “When I started the project, I was 12. So a 12-year-old kid was going to raise $30,000 and do this. Everyone told me to downsize it or it was too big, and I couldn’t do it.”

Gavigan said it had always bothered him that there wasn’t a spot to pay tribute to veterans in his hometown of Lake Arrowhead.

So when he had to come up with an Eagle Scout project, he had no doubt that this was what he wanted to do. “We wouldn’t be able to do the things we do without veterans,” Gavigan said.

His father, Rick, an army veteran, admitted he was skeptical when he first saw how elaborate his son wanted the monument to be – with multiple plaques, benches and flagpoles.

“He showed me that he had the strength to hang in there, and this is what he wanted to do,” the elder Gavigan recalled.

“It means a lot to us. Some of us weren’t welcomed home back in the 60’s. So this is very special,” said Navy veteran Patrick Graham.

Liam said it was special to him too. “I don’t even know a word that can describe the emotions that I feel when I look at it. It makes me so proud.”

He said he planned to attend the Air Force Academy after he graduates from high school.