During the Feb. 2 State of the Union Address, President Bush acknowledged Pflugerville resident’s William and Janet Norwood whose son, Marine Sergeant Byron Norwood, was killed in action last year in Fallujah, Iraq.
The loss of Sgt. Norwood deeply touched members of the Pflugerville community and more than 1,000 friends and family of Sgt. Norwood attended services honoring him at the Pflugerville High School Fine Arts Center. Late last year a group of citizens began gathering support and searching for a way to memorialize Sgt. Norwood’s sacrifice for his country.
“Although our town is obviously appreciative and respectful of the sacrifices of our soldiers, there is no place where we honor and remember them,” area resident and committee chairman, Mike Marsh noted. “Thus the idea for a memorial was born.”
This project began as a grassroots movement. Citizens in the Pflugerville community had a desire to honor and memorialize the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice. The goal for this project is to raise $100,000, which will cover the costs of the sculpture, amphitheater, flagpoles, landscaping and lighting. Pfriends pfor Pflugerville’s Pfuture, a local group chartered as a 501(c) (3) organization is joining the effort. “This is an excellent opportunity for Pf4, a Pflugerville Foundation, to honor the memory of Sgt. Byron Norwood,” David Buesing, city manager and president of Pf4 said.
Pf4 will assist the Fallen Soldier committee by receiving and accounting for the incoming donations for the memorial construction and completion. The memorial will be located along the hike and bike trail next to Gilleland Creek in Pfluger Park. The design, created by Pflugerville artist Britta Herzog, depicts three soldiers, one from the WWII era, one from the Vietnam era, and one contemporary soldier. They will be posed passing a folded American flag among them. The bronze sculpture, by Austin sculptor Cindy Burleson, will be set on a knoll, surrounded by a small arc of amphitheater seating, with three flagpoles proudly flying the U.S., Texas, and City flags.
So far, seven fallen soldiers from Pflugerville, from WWI to the current loss in Iraq, have been identified. Their names will be engraved in pink Texas granite at the memorial. Lighting and landscaping will complete the reflective beauty of the memorial. The groundbreaking for the memorial is slated for the latter part of April. The goal is to dedicate this memorial on Friday, November 11, 2005, Veteran's Day. Herzog is best known regionally for her “Our Town Pflugerville” series of paintings and “Vistas of Lakeway” series, which will be hung in the new Lakeway City Hall. She has been drawing, “all of her life” and painting for 15 years.
Burleson has a Bachelor of Fine Art from the University of Texas and works primarily with bronze and stone. Her work has been commissioned by Scott and White Hospital, the U.S. Forestry Service, Euless Public Library, Grapevine Public Library and Grand Prairie Lone Star Park horse racing track, to name a few.
The Fallen Soldier Memorial Committee is comprised of Mike Marsh, local resident and Pflugerville Community Development Corporation board member, artist Britta Herzog of The Pflugerville Gallery, Austin sculptor Cindy Burleson, Janice Heath of First Texas Bank, Lloyd Hebbe of Comerica Bank, Glenn Holzer, director of Parks and Recreation, City of Pflugerville, Ron Beyer, president of PCDC, Mark Evans, Web site developer, Clifford Damstrom, longtime Pflugerville Independent School District board member and Kathy Ellis, deputy city secretary.
To contribute to this fund, contact Janet Heath at First Texas Bank, 512-251-7889, Lloyd Hebbe at Comerica Bank, 512-251-4115, Kathy Ellis at the City of Pflugerville, 512-990-4363, Michelle Pundt, Pf4, 512-670-5527 or Mike Marsh, PCDC, 512-990-9097.
By Kathy Ellis
Reprinted with permission from The Pflugerville Pflag
Issue date: February 10, 2005