Every year we set aside a day for remembrances of those people who gave their lives for our freedoms, liberties and to be able to lead the lives we so rarely give thanks. We have the ability to choose where we work, where we play and where we pray.
I served in the U.S. Navy for four years but never had to go into combat, but realized how much our military is ready to protect our country and our freedoms.
I went to a local Memorial Day celebration in Bear Creek Park In Houston, Texas. There was a good crowd and a great ceremony.
Here is a small explanation of the Memorial area where the ceremony was held:
The Harris County War Memorial opened in 1985 during the administration of former Harris County Precinct Three Commissioner Bob Eckels.
It lists the name of Harris County residents who have died in uniform in service to our country during World War I, World War II, the Korean War, The Vietnam War, the first Persian Gulf War and the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Most recently, under the direction of current Precinct Three Commissioner Steve Radack, new sections were added to honor those who served in the U.S. Merchant Marines and died during World War II and those who lost their lives serving in the U.S. Coast Guard during various conflicts. In addition, Commissioner Radack recently ordered a dramatic expansion to the War Memorial. More granite walls were added to carry the names of war dead from World War I and World War II that were inadvertently left off when the monument was first built. Many names that were spelled incorrectly during the original construction have also been fixed.
In total, more than 1,000 names were added in 2011 – almost doubling the size of the monument. More names have also been added to the War Memorial because of a change in precinct policy instigated by Commissioner Radack. In the past, only the names of those killed as a direct result of enemy action were listed. Now, Harris County servicemen and women who died in war zone are listed.
The War Memorial is an ongoing project and it represents our best effort to make sure all of the county’s war dead are listed. Improvements, additions and corrections are scheduled around the annual Memorial Day Ceremony at the Harris County War Memorial. Below is a searchable database of those listed on the War Memorial at this point. A map of the memorial site, which is open to the public throughout the year, also shows where someone’s name is listed.
If you know of someone who should be on the War Memorial who died in one of conflicts listed above and who is not shown, please contact our Parks Office at (281) 531-1592.
I took some pictures of the dignitaries, the Constable Color Guard, Houston Police Honor Guard, Grade School chorus, a High School Air Force ROTC drill team and lots of people who cam to celebrate the memorial occasion.
(If you know anyone in these photos, please leave a comment below and I’ll identify them in their photo)