In 2009, the City established a Community Commemorative Area to honor those who made outstanding and significant contributions to the City during their lifetimes. The City Council wanted to honor, in a permanent way, those residents and employees who have given their lives and brought honor to the City through public service. The Community Commemorative Area surrounds the City’s flag pole that sits to the west of the Memory Wall, Garden, and Eternal Flame.
The Community Commemorative Area was created in memory of Duane Schuster, who set the bar high for future nominees. Duane unselfishly made tangible contributions to La Palma by creating and enhancing a strong sense of community which has continued to transcend over time. Duane Schuster was elected to the La Palma City Council in 1992 and served as Mayor in 1996. He received the Cypress College Americana Award, KNX Radio’s Citizen of the Year, Recreation and Community Service Volunteer of the Year Award, Lyons Club Merit Foundation Vision Award, and many more honoring his unwavering commitment to the community. He served the Police Department in programs such as Volunteers in Policing, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and helped to establish the original Police K-9 and Neighborhood Watch Programs. Duane Schuster served as President of Neighborhood Watch and the La Palma Seniors Club until he passed away in 2008.
In 2011, three more La Palmans were added to the area: Daniel Collins, Orbrey Duke, and Glenn W. Reeves.
Daniel Collins was a Veteran of the US Navy Construction Battalion and served on the La Palma Homeowners Association Board from 1969-1974. He also served as a City Council Member from 1972-1976, and again from 1980-1987; and served as Mayor in 1981-1982 and 1985-1986. Daniel Collins also chaired and directed the volunteer group that constructed the Bicentennial Gazebo in Central Park and much more. Daniel Collins was instrumental in shaping La Palma into the City it is today. Daniel Collins passed away in 2007.
Orbery Duke, a Veteran of the Korean War, served the City of La Palma as a Police Lieutenant and Chief of Police from 1966-1974 and as a City Council Member from 1986-1992, serving as Mayor in 1988-1989. Orbery Duke was also active with the Boy Scouts of America Explorers, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Kiwanis Club of La Palma, North Orange County Police Academy, Orange County Chiefs of Police Association, and the West Anaheim Community Hospital Advisory Council. Orbery Duke passed away in 1998.
Glenn W. Reeves, a World War II Veteran, was a resident of La Palma for 41 years. He was appointed to the City’s Finance Committee in 1993 and to the Blue Ribbon Finance Committee in 1997. Glenn Reeves worked closely with then Chief of Police Barr to develop the Senior Citizens Organizing Reciprocal Efforts (SCORE), which later became Volunteers in Policing (VIP). Mr. Reeves was the coordinator of VIP until 2004, which grew to 40 members under his guidance and continues today. Glenn W. Reeves passed away in 2008.
In 2015, Henry "Hank" Frese was added to the area. Hank Frese was a Veteran of the US Marine Corp where he served as a Lieutenant Colonel. In La Palma, he served on the La Palma Homeowners Association Board as president; served as a member of the Civic Center Authority; and served on the City Council from 1972-1984, and as Mayor in 1976, 1977, 1979, and 1982. He was key in the successful development of many homes in the early residential subdivisions in the community of La Palma. Hank Frese also facilitated the installation of the La Palma Intercommunity Hospital in 1972 and played a strategic role in helping to advance the large business development, now known as Centerpointe.