Today at 4 p.m. the groundbreaking for the Pflugerville Fallen Warrior Memorial at Pfluger Park will mark the beginning of fund-raising and other activities for the memorial. The first fund-raising event will be a *censored*tail party held at the clubhouse of Falcon Pointe directly following the groundbreaking ceremony.
There will be an active or retired representative of each member of the armed services, some of the relatives of those Pflugerville soldiers who have died and Victoria Miller, a representative from Rep. Michael McCaul’s office will attend. Members of the Pflugerville High School Panther band will perform.
The life-sized bronze sculpture, designed by Pflugerville artist Britta Herzog and sculpted by Austin artist Cindy Burleson, will be located along the hike and bike trail next to Gilleland Creek. The sculpture depicts three generations of soldiers, standing in front of a granite pentagon upon which will be engraved the names of fallen warriors from Pflugerville. Limestone amphitheater-style seating will provide the backdrop for the pentagon and sculptures. The US, Texas and City flags are also worked into the design. Landscaped walks will invite visitors into the memorial. Committee members hope to dedicate the memorial in ceremonies on Veteran's Day, November 11. Estimates for the memorial are approximately $65,000 and preliminary estimates for the site work are approximately $35,000. “We need to raise $60,000 [by May] to place the order for the bronze,” committee member Mike Marsh, said.
Funding for the memorial is being provided exclusively by citizens and companies. So far, Wal-Mart has committed to the project and committee members are preparing information to send to Target and other large retailers in the area. Currently, $1,500 has been collected.
“Some was given in kind,” Marsh said. He explained that, for example, Kinkos and Kwik Sign have both donated products and services.
The committee is operating as a project under the umbrella of the Pfriends for Pflugerville’s Pfuture non-profit group. What began as grassroots effort by a few citizens to honor Pflugerville’s fallen soldiers following the funeral of Sgt. Byron Norwood, has quickly grown. In fact, Dateline NBC will document the Norwood family during the dedication ceremony in November as a part of a memorial program on the families of fallen soldiers of each branch of the military. The show will air on the Discovery Channel’s new military channel. “The process we’ve been through has been really interesting,” Marsh said. “There is no collective written history, just tremendous oral history and family history. We are having to uncover these oral histories.”
Marsh encourages Pflugerville residents to come forward to any committee member if they know anything about a veteran from the area.
For more information on the Pflugerville Fallen Warrior Memorial visit the committee’s Web site at www.fallenwarriormemorial.org. If you or someone you know has information on a Pflugerville veteran, contact Mike Marsh at 512-990-9097 or Kathy Ellis at The City of Pflugerville at 512-990-4363.
By Mel Spencer
Reprinted with permission from The Pflugerville Pflag
Issue date: April 21, 2005