12,000 Gather for Veterans Wall Dedication - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/7/03

12,000 Gather for Veterans Wall Dedication

A sea of red, white, and blue filled Henry Huneke Park on Sunday as an estimated 12,000 people gathered on Pearl Harbor Day for the dedication ceremony of the Lubbock Area Veterans War Memorial.

After two years of hard work and dedication, the memorial wall stands tall with about 12,000 bricks already in place representing the men and women from this area who have served our country.

Patriotic music filled the air Sunday as thousands gathered for the Lubbock Area Veterans War Memorial dedication. For many, it was an emotional day, trying to locate that special brick for the first time -- some for themselves.

"I think it's great. I haven't seen anything like that since basic training," Veteran Alfred Allen said of finding his brick.

But many were searching for loved ones lost.

"I'm looking for my brother Roger Sanderfer. He spent 20 years in the Air Force, and he died last year, and my brothers and sisters and I bought him a brick. Then, my daughter bought one for my husband who was in Korea. I haven't found them yet but we will," said Vernice Stephens.

With a crowd of this size, and a memorial wall made of thousands of bricks, it took hours for some people to locate that special name.

"A brother in law Fred Dunn from Lamesa, that's my wife's brother, and her brother that was killed in Germany, E.V. Dunn, Jr., found his, but I haven't found Fred's," said Jasper Proffitt.

"My brothers and my mom dedicated this brick for me, and I'm trying to find it. It's special to me," said Robert Lara, a Vietnam Vet.

Two flags were raised, one Congressman Randy Neugebauer contributed after it was flown over the capital, and the other representing prisoners of war.

"You know when we honor veterans we have to honor their families at the same time because they are just as much of a part of the sacrifices made," Congressman Randy Neugebauer told the crowd.

Sacrifices that the citizens in this community want to never forget.

"Our veterans and our soldiers that have died in the past and the ones that are risking their lives now, everything they've done is for us and for our freedom, and I think that should be recognized," said Donnie Blakely.

"I thought it was great. It's something we all need no matter what war you were involved in. Recognition is one thing, a lot of people haven't been given it, and this is fantastic," said Marc McKeeman, a Vietnam Vet.

"Very important to Lubbock. Just to show and give respect to the men and women who have died for this country and also so to have this memorial right here in Lubbock," organizer and Veteran Denver Blanscett said.

"I think it was wonderful, and if this doesn't make you patriotic, I don't know what will," said Sherri Williams.

 

Fore more information visit the official Lubbock Area War Memorial Website (Click Here)

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