Missouri City celebrated Veterans Day with the groundbreaking ceremony for the city’s new Veterans Memorial. The memorial will stand outside of City Hall located at 1522 Texas Parkway, Missouri City.
“George Bush, the 41st president of the United States and former Houston resident, once said that there can be no definition of a successful life unless it’s been serving others,” said Jason Mangum, the director of the Missouri City Parks and Recreation Department, to a group of veterans gathered for the groundbreaking event. “That’s why we’re building this memorial, to recognize your service and the sacrifices that you have given in serving our country.”
Local veterans as well as city officials and state and federal elected representatives spoke in support of the memorial and to express their thanks to everyone who has served our nation in the armed forces.
Lloyd Lentz, a principal with LMA Design Houston, designed the memorial. He said the project is already six years in the making.
“Six years ago this month, I received a phone call from the parks director bribing me to participate in the design competition, and here we are in the middle of construction documents, working with engineers, landscape architects, lighting consultants, and it’s a very exciting project,” Lentz said.
The memorial’s design centers around a five-point star with an eternal flame and fountain in the center. Lentz said the elements of the memorial symbolize life, strength, freedom and liberty.
Missouri City City Council and staff first announced a desire to create a Veterans Memorial in 2011. Following a design contest organized in 2013, Lentz was selected as the designer of the memorial.
While the project was initially delayed due to funding issues, the Missouri City Parks Foundation has lead fundraising efforts for the project since 2018 and has brought on major corporate sponsors, including H-E-B, Niagara Bottling LLC, Wells Fargo and The George Foundation. City Manager Anthony Snipes has previously estimated the project to cost $1.5 million and $24,000 annually thereafter for routine upkeep.
A brick pavers fundraising project is also ongoing. Brick pavers can be purchased for $300 and will be engraved to honor or remember any veteran who served in the U.S. armed forces.
Lentz said he expects construction to begin in March and the dedication ceremony of the memorial to happen late next year.
“This [memorial] is to honor, as we said earlier, all veterans, those who have already passed, those who have sacrificed and those who are here with us today,” Lentz said.