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The following is a list of monuments that were erected on Texas State Cemetery grounds to honor groups of Texans.
GOLD STAR MOTHERS
The Gold Star Mothersí memorial honors women who have lost sons or daughters in military combat. The memorial was erected in 2001 and was unveiled in conjunction with the traveling Vietnam Wall. The traveling wall is a smaller version of the monument in Washington D.C. that lists the names of all American soldiers who died during the Vietnam War. The Gold Star Mothers organization was named for flags that fly in windows of families. Many families who have a relative serving in combat hang a blue star in their window while that person is serving; it is changed to a Gold Star if the soldier dies.
NINE MEN OF PRAHA
The Nine Men of Praha Monument was dedicated on Veterans Day, November 11, 2002, in memory of nine soldiers who died during World War II. Those nine soldiers represented an entire generation of men from Praha, Texas, a small community in Fayette County. During a 12-month span, from February 1944 to February 1945, they all died in combat. The monument is carved from sunset pink granite, and includes the names and military affiliations of each soldier and the circumstances of each manís death. Family members of the soldiers, Praha residents and community leaders were in attendance as well as local and state officials.
PURPLE HEART MONUMENT
The Cemetery dedicated a Purple Heart Monument on September 20, 2003, and is dedicated to all Texans who have been wounded in combat serving the United States military. The Purple Heart is the oldest military decoration in the world still awarded. General George Washington created the decoration that was the first American award made available to the common soldier. It is specifically a combat decoration, awarded only to members of the United States Armed Forces who are wounded. It is given posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who die in action or die of wounds received in action.
The newest monument at the Cemetery is dedicated to all World War II veterans and was unveiled on Veterans Day 2005. The monument is carved from Ebony Mist granite and features a timeline of significant events that occurred during the War, as well as two bronze plaques depicting Allied overall victories in Europe and the Pacific. At the same ceremony, a group of Baylor Alumni dedicated a cenotaph to Jack Lummus, a Medal of Honor recipient who died at the Battle of Iwo Jima.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
The 9/11 monument is dedicated to all Texans who died during the September 11 terrorist attacks and during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and was commissioned by Governor Rick Perry in 2002 on the first anniversary of the attacks. It was completed and unveiled on the attackís two-year anniversary in 2003. Numerous designs were submitted from artists, architects and private citizens from around the state. The final design by OíConnell, Robertson and Associates of Austin was chosen by the Governorís Office and the Texas State Cemetery Committee. Included in the design are two steel columns from Ground Zero that the public are encouraged to touch and examine. The columns were not altered in any way and were recovered in the state in which they stand.
The Texas State Cemetery honored all Texas veterans of the Vietnam War by unveiling a new monument on its grounds on April 19, 2008. The monument, the first honoring Vietnam veterans at the Cemetery, features grey and black granite and a bronze sculpture on top. The monument joins those dedicated to World War II veterans, Purple Heart recipients, Medal of Honor recipients and others. The monument honors all branches of service who served during the Vietnam era including the Marine Corps, Navy, Army, Air Force, Army National Guard, Air National Guard, Coast Guard and the Merchant Marines.
Lt. General Jefferson Davis Howell, USMC (Ret.) was the keynote speaker and spoke of his experiences during the Vietnam War. Governor Rick Perry gave remarks on his military service, as well. Howell, a former Marine, was also the Director of the Johnson Space Center for a number of years. In addition to General Howell, remarks were given by a veteran enlisted man, an officer and a nurse. Members of each branch of service and various elected officials were on hand for the unveiling as well as the 36th Infantry Division Band from Camp Mabry in Austin. Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 23rd Marines provided the color guard and rifle detail.
BLACK LEGISLATORS MONUMENT
In March of 2010, the Texas State Cemetery honored fifty-two African American men who either served in the Texas Legislature, the Texas Constitutional Convention or both during the Reconstruction era in Texas. The men came from all backgrounds, but served their state with distinction. They fought for a variety of issues including education, voting rights, labor rights, frontier defense and others. Following Reconstruction, blacks were slowly disenfranchised from voting rights and from serving in state government. By 1902, the poll tax was instituted, silencing almost 20 percent of the Texas population from voting or participating in government. Texas Speaker of the House Joe Strauss, State Senator Rodney Ellis; and Wilhelmina Delco, the first African-American to represent District 50 in the Texas Legislature, gathered along with the descendents of those men honored to unveil a black marble monument detailing their lives and their contributions to history.
TSDAR PATRIOT MONUMENT
On March 16, 2009, the Texas Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution honored thirty-two men with ties to Texas who participated in the American Revolution at the Texas State Cemetery. Both Spanish Patriots and Anglo Colonists are honored by the monument. Some men were soldiers and fought the British and others contributed to the war effort by herding cattle and horses from Spanish Mexico to reinforce the Revolutionary Army. Two men, Stephen Williams and Robert Rankin, fought during the American Revolution and are buried at the Texas State Cemetery.
The TSDAR monument was carefully designed and is inscribed with the names of all of the Texas patriots. Its obelisk shape was selected to honor the Washington Monument in Washington D.C. For a full list of names and a description of the ceremony, see the PDF brochure .
War of 1812 Monument
In December 2001, the Texas Society of the United States Daughters of the War of 1812 dedicated this monument to the those individuals buried at the Texas State Cemetery who served and fought for the United States during the War of 1812.
Following Revolutionary War, the United States struggled economically, politically, and diplomatically. One of the results was the War of 1812, which lasted until 1815. Many of the veterans of the War of 1812 would later migrate to Texas and would become instrumental in Texas Independence and key figures in the Republic of Texas.