Located at 1522 Texas Parkway, Missouri City, the memorial—which was proposed in 2011—will be next to the Missouri City City Hall complex.
After choosing Lloyd Lentz to design the memorial in 2013, the city expected the memorial to be finalized in 2020—despite some funding hurdles that initially delayed the project. In 2016, the Missouri City Parks Foundation was formed as a way to support parks and public spaces, such as the memorial, Parks and Recreation Director Jason Mangum said.
“The city budgeted some money to help get us started with the design and our fundraising efforts, and then the [Missouri City Parks] Foundation took over the fundraising efforts,” Mangum said.
After the groundbreaking ceremony in November 2019, Mangum said Missouri City officials started the design work and engineering of the project, which ultimately cost $704,323. Due to the pandemic, however, the memorial’s construction was delayed.
“We were constantly moving on it; it’s just because of the reduction in workforce and people being out, it took longer than it would have had it not been for the pandemic,” he said.
Honoring their sacrifices
According to Mangum, Missouri City officials chose to honor veterans with the memorial because they feel it is important to show gratitude to veterans for the sacrifices they have made for the country.
City documents said Lentz’s concept is designed to show respect to America’s military who have valiantly served our country, featuring a five-point star with an eternal flame.
“The timeless design represents the flow of life through the bubbling fountain and the flame of freedom burning eternally. It also symbolizes the bravery, sacrifice and strength veterans stand for in this country,” according to city documents.
The memorial ended up being a close collaboration with a local veterans group—Missouri City American Legion Post 294—with the city constantly asking for feedback.
“The involvement that the veterans have had has been as the city comes up with ideas or concepts, then they bounce it off of us, so there has been a lot of really good interplay between the city and the veterans groups to be able to bring [the memorial] to fruition,” Missouri City Veteran’s Liaison Denny Thibault said.
The city meant for the memorial to be a place where veterans can remember and reflect, Mangum said.
The memorial will also contain small engraved brick pavers that people can purchase that will feature the name of a veteran. The pavers will be placed on the sidewalk leading up to the fountain in the middle of the memorial, Thibault said. The memorial pavers come in two sizes—4 inches by 8 inches and 8 inches by 8 inches—and can be engraved with text and symbols, such as emblems for each branch of the military. Anyone interested in purchasing a paver can visit www.mcparksfoundation.org.
“It’s [our] hope between ourselves and the city that this memorial can show our collective desire to honor and remember those in uniform that have made the individual sacrifices throughout the years in defense of our nation,” Thibault said.
The unveiling ceremony will be held Nov. 11 at 11 a.m., where local citizens will finally be able to see the finished memorial.
“It’s not alive until the people are here, and then it’s the interaction of the people and their memories, their thoughts [and] their loved ones. That’s what it’s really all about,” Lentz said. “I can’t tell you how valuable that is. That’s the big reward.”