In Jim Hogg County, they are in the middle of celebrating their centennial, and one of the ways they are doing that is by honoring their veterans.
On Friday, the county unveiled a new veterans' memorial monument.
A retired three-star Army general with strong ties to the community gave the keynote address. The county chose to dedicate its Hebbronville Plaza to its veterans, and to rename it the Jim Hogg County Veterans Memorial Plaza.
The Hebbronville High School Longhorn band played the national anthem at the dedication ceremony, with plenty of veterans on hand from all over South Texas and the Valley.
Also on hand was retired Army Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez, who once led all coalition ground forces in Iraq, but years before commanding those forces, Sanchez married his wife at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, right next to the plaza in Hebbronville where the ceremony was held.
The invocation was given by a Franciscan father from that church, Father Flavio. He also blessed the new veterans monument with holy water. Miss Jim Hogg County read a veteran's essay. Then came the unveiling of the monument.
The stone was imported from India. The county decided to erect the monument to honor its sons and daughters who gave so much for their country.
"It needs to be here to remind people of the sacrifices that our soldiers have given," said Major Israel Hinojosa, a retired U.S. Army veteran who served in Vietnam. "Back in my time, there was a draft. We had to go. Now we have volunteers, but our children need to know that peace doesn't come free."
"This is all about understanding and appreciating the sacrifices that veterans across this great country have made to preserve our freedom and to preserve our way of life, so I think it's very important, given all the tremendous challenges that exist in the world today, and those that are to come," said Lt. Gen Ricardo Sanchez. "And we know they will come, because every generation has faced a crisis. For our young people to understand what it means to serve, what it means to sacrifice, and what it means to have this democracy that we have."
After giving the keynote address on Friday, Sanchez joined American Legion and VFW commanders for the placement of a memorial wreath. Then came a release of doves by Hebbronville 4-H Club members, and a choreographed performance by Hebbronville's elementary school students.
In his keynote address, Sanchez said the monument will help future generations remember the sacrifices that were made by veterans to preserve our way of life.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2013 WorldNow and KIII. All Rights Reserved.