Mesquite, TX – November 6, 2020 – The City of Mesquite held a small, private ceremony to dedicate the new Mesquite Veterans Memorial located at 425 S. Galloway Avenue. The memorial is open to the public beginning Nov. 7. The memorial was funded in part through community fundraising and corporate donations, highlighted by the title sponsorship of Atmos Energy.
Mayor Bruce Archer said, “Today, we celebrate a 13-year journey to build a memorial of honor for all military veterans – past and present. And, for a place to pay tribute to all the families of military veterans. This memorial creates a home for a lasting legacy to remember a sacrifice not forgotten for every military veteran who gave the ultimate sacrifice.”
The memorial is located near City Lake Park. It features two 14-foot wide walls with six medallions of veterans groups on the front side and six history panels of modern-era wars facing the park. A center column is 7-feet wide and lists the names of all military veterans from the Mesquite community who lost their lives while in service. The column is highlighted by a 3-foot in diameter bronze seal of the United States of America. A bronze American Bald Eagle, with a 5-foot wing span, rests atop the memorial. The Walk of Honor, with bricks purchased by the community, create an entryway that welcomes visitors to a plaza area enhanced by a 14-foot wide granite star and four benches named Service, Sacrifice, Honor and Freedom.
Archer acknowledged City staff and volunteers for helping to build the new memorial. He said, “With a project of this size and scope, it takes leadership – and we have that in Cliff Keheley. From his days as the Director of Parks and Recreation to his role in the past five years as our City Manager – it has been Cliff who has kept the City on a journey to the destination we arrive at today.” Archer also applauded Randy Lawson with the Heroes of Mesquite for his contributions. He stated, “Randy has been the leading advocate and activist for this memorial. His passion and dedication to this memorial has been unwavering.”
The dedication program included remarks by Atmos Energy’s Vice President of Public Affairs, Oric Walker, about the company’s commitment to military veterans and the Mesquite community. Gold Star Mother, Mary Border offered remarks and assisted Mayor Archer in laying a wreath beneath the names of those from Mesquite who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
David Melton read the names of 47 Mesquite veterans killed in service followed by Taps performed by Sam McCright. The ceremonies included the raising of the United States and P.O.W. flags by military veterans Ralph Wadsworth and Thomas Latham, as well as an Invocation by Family Cathedral Pastor Harry Sewell and musical presentations by Karon Jackson.
The ribbon cutting included Mayor Archer and Lawson doing the honors with Border, Walker and military veteran and current Mesquite Rotary Club President, Angel Rivera, holding a red, white and blue ribbon across the plaza.
View a written copy of the program.