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Matagorda County
War Memorial Dedication Photos




Memorial Information Brochure

Dedication Program

Matagorda County Veteran Memorials


Photos and article courtesy of the collection of the
Ladies Auxiliary Philip H. Parker VFW Post 2438


Countians Gather to Dedicate
Hundreds See Monument Ceremonies

By Elaine Richards

While traffic bustled noisily around three sides of the county courthouse, on the fourth, north side, there was solemn silence as people from throughout the county huddled together in the crisp breeze to pay tribute to Matagorda County’s war dead.

People lined the curbs and sat in chairs in the street as shortly after 11 a. m. Wednesday, six representatives of area patriotic organizations pulled off the red, white and blue cloths shrouding the 12-foot-tall marble monument while a combined high school band softly played “Amazing Grace.”

The United States Marine Corps Reserve Unit of Houston made the presentation of colors, and hats came off and arms rose in salute as the flags were raised.

County Judge Burt O’Connell welcomed participants and observers to the dedication, calling it “a tribute long overdue.”

“This is a great day but a sad day in the history of Matagorda County, he said. “Many people here today are friends and relatives of those listed on this monument.”

State Rep. Tom Uher echoed the sentiment adding, “We couldn’t help but feel a loss—it’s always a loss to lose someone… We remind ourselves on occasions such as this that these young men made the sacrifice so we could enjoy the freedoms we have today.”

Lamar Evans, chairman of the committee that spearheaded the memorial project, commented on the patriotic steps that have been made by the community since July 16, 1981, when a letter to the editor appeared in The Daily Tribune decrying the lack of American flags on display July Fourth. The author of the letter, Dixon Brown of San Antonio, was present for Wednesday’s ceremony.

Since that letter appeared, a flag committee has been formed that sees to it that flags are displayed for every patriotic occasion, and a little over a year ago, the Promoters of Patriotism formed to promote the war memorial project, Evans said.

“The credit for this memorial belongs to all of Matagorda County, and all of Matagorda County can be proud of this memorial,” he said, adding that more than the $27,000 cost of the monument has been pledged by county civic organizations, businesses and individuals even before the monument was ordered in August.

Douglas Brown, director of the Texas Veterans Commission and a Vietnam veteran, commended the veterans who fought to keep America strong, calling them “the mortar that holds the country together.”

“We must never apologize for wanting to be strong,” he said.

“Throughout history veterans paid a heavy price, because they knew freedom does not come cheap. Veterans Day is a day to recall the veterans’ sacrifice during war and recognize that sacrifice during peace.”

“It is a solemn day, a solemn occurrence,” said state Sen. Ken Armbrister of Victoria. “But it is also a celebration, a time to show all the world that peace does not come without a price.”

Veterans from all four wars saluted as a wreath was placed at the foot of the monument, and as the 112 names were read, representatives of the Daughters of the American Revolution and American Legion and VFW auxiliaries place red, white and blue carnations in decorated vases at the base of the memorial.

Uher reminded observers that one of the men listed, Curtis Daniel Miller, is still missing in action in Vietnam.

“We must never forget that there are American boys in Vietnam unaccounted for, and we must never quit asking the Vietnam government what happened to those men and bring back their remains to this county.” Uher said.

The ceremony closed with playing of taps and the crowd dispersed.

Several presentations were made during a luncheon following the ceremony, Eugene Parker, brother of Philip Parker, for whom Bay City VFW Post 2438 is named, was guest of honor and was given a World War II picture of his brother seated in a plane. Parker came for the festivities from his home in Jackson, Miss.

Awards went to Judge O’Connell, local historian Mary Belle Ingram, Evans and Vernon Miles of the VFW. Ingram also presented Armbrister with a two-volume set of Historic Matagorda County, “so he in his spare time he can read all about us,” she said.

The Daily Tribune, November 12, 1987

Crowd gathers for memorial dedication.

Matagorda County Service Officer, Mrs. Katheryn Hazel,
reads names of deceased servicemen engraved on memorial.

Unveiling of the monument.
l to r: Charles Martinez - Bay City American Legion Post 11 Bay City
George L. O'Neal - Cecil Lee American Legion Post 649 Blessing
Ted Henning - Philip H. Parker VFW Post 2438 Bay City

Award presented to Mary Belle Ingram for her work on the memorial.


Award presented to Lamar Evans for his work on the memorial.

Award presented to Vernon Miles who conceived the idea of a Matagorda County War Memorial.

Award presented to Matagorda County Commissioners and accepted by County Judge Burt O'Connell.

Commander Al Kron presents a picture of Philip Parker to his brother, Eugene Parker.


Copyright 2012 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Aug. 11, 2012
Aug. 11, 2012