Advocate Editorial Board opinion: Thank servicemembers for sacrifices now

By the Advocate Editorial Board
May 6, 2013 at 12:06 a.m.

America's military has a proud history of serving and protecting our country. Veterans across the country are honored every year, and memorials to the various wars our country has fought and the people who served in these conflicts can be found in towns and cities across our nation.

In Victoria, we have monuments for almost every major modern conflict. Monuments listing the names of servicemen who died in World Wars I and II, Korea and Vietnam are placed at 115 N. Bridge St., as well as various individual war monuments around town. In Victoria and across the Crossroads, markers point out the locations of various incidents and engagements during the Texas Revolution, and De Leon Plaza is home to the bronze sculpture by Pompio Coppini called "The Last Stand," which is dedicated to the soldiers of the Confederate States of America.

We are honored to live in a town and region that is so dedicated to honoring and showing appreciation to all the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect us and our country. Now, a group of citizens is working to add an Iraq-Afghanistan war monument to our hometown.

We are excited to see this plan in the works. The effort is still in the planning phases, according to Bulmaro Martinez, a committee member and veteran, with the committee still looking for a location, planning a budget and developing a design. In addition, the group needs to gain nonprofit classification and raise funds to proceed.

This is an exciting prospect for Victoria and the Crossroads. We have an active veteran community here, and many residents and community leaders take part in activities intended to acknowledge the service and sacrifices of veterans from all generations. We are glad to see a group is taking steps to honor the current generation of service members. In the past, it seemed like communities would wait years or even decades before building any kind of monument or memorial to honor members of the military who served in conflicts. Even the national monuments are often built decades after the wars ended and many of the veterans have passed on, such as the World War II Memorial, which opened April 29, 2004, almost 59 years after the war ended in 1945. We do not think this pattern should continue in Victoria. We would like to see a memorial built and dedicated while the veterans it honors are still around to appreciate it and share the experience with their loved ones.

As this group works toward creating a memorial to honor these veterans, we are looking forward to Warrior's Weekend, which begins May 17 with hundreds of veterans arriving at Faith Family Church for the opening ceremony and to visit the Field of Honor, which will be covered with American flags. We look forward to this event every year, and we encourage community members to help honor these brave men and women. The full itinerary for the weekend is posted on the Warrior's Weekend website, including events open to the public. We encourage our readers to attend the Warrior's Weekend events and show support for our troops. We may not have a monument yet, but we must show our appreciation while we have the chance.

This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.



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