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Remember - Honor - Teach the Children
Read our History. Understand why and how we built this
Veterans Memorial at Pendleton Park to honor our Harlingen Heroes.
History of the Memorial and
In August of 2007, after Harlingen soldier Darrell Shipp
was killed in Iraq, some like-minded Harlingen citizens
began meeting to plan a Veterans’ Memorial to honor
ALL veterans, for Harlingen.
In the years after, a lot of effort ensued with typical
fund raisers. The city Parks Dep.t was approached,
land at Pendleton Park recommended to the City
Commission and approved, and an architect hired. The
Veterans’ Memorial at Pendleton Park (VMP) was
formed into a non-profit corporation, and legal charity
status (501C3) approved by IRS.
In 2009, a brick maker was decided on who engraves the pavers with a laser, turning the filling in the letters into glass that is PERMANENT. (Brick Markers, Inc. of West Palm Beach, FL)
Adjusted to reflect costs and delivery considerations only, prices for custom engraved brick pavers are kept affordable as possible for all veterans, families
and friends -- currently $45.00 and $65.00 for 4x8" and 8x8" pavers, respectively.
As the design developed into the rendering depicted here, the VMP had raised
over $50,000 privately, and paid for the architect, a surveyor, the marketing of these beautiful paver bricks, and the Committee began paying for parts of the initial construction, reducing the city’s initial outlay.
In December 2011, at the request of the City Commission, the City of Harlingen
4B Board, which receives it’s funding from Hotel/Motel taxes, agreed to fund
the total estimated cost of the new memorial - $593,000.
A condition of that approval, was that the VMP agree to REPAY $200,000 of that money, to the 4B Board. The VM Project Committee readily agreed, and stated
it’s intention to remain “in business” for years into the future, continuing to receive orders for new pavers and installing them, helping the city provide maintenance of the Memorial, and hopefully repaying ALL of the advanced
monies –--- considering it all a “loan”.
Asst. City Manager, Mr. Dan Serna was appointed as the Project Manager, the VMPC’s architect was placed under contract to the city, and the bid process to select a General Contractor began in February 2012.
CubCo Construction in Brownsville was chosen as that Contractor, and equipment moved onto the site in March. As the site work continued, the city Parks Department undertook to dredge and clean the duck pond and a new fountain installed; new, attractive fencing has been erected around the pavilion; new irrigation has been installed around the entire area; new grass abounds, flowers and shrubbery greet visitors as they enter the new driveway; about 40 new oak, wild olive and pick trumpet trees have been planted (compliments of Valley Proud, Mrs. Georgiana Matz and Mr. Frank Boggus); and the children’s playground has been renovated. A GREAT job by your Harlingen Parks Dept.
By mid September 2012 the Memorial project was declared “essentially complete”, and the site returned to the city.
A Prayer Service preceded the formal Dedication Ceremony on the morning of November 11th, 2012, Approximately 900 people attended that dedication!. Please find photos and info at the DEDICATION link.
After completion, it was discovered that there were two problems on the walk.
A red stain began appearing on some of the pavers and cement “filler” squares.
It was learned that the water coming into the park has an excess of iron in it,
and the irrigation spray was leaving this iron drying, leaving a reddish stain. A process to clean this off is now being used to clean that off, but the process is labor intensive. A more permanent solution is being sought.
The second problem was that, because of the hard packed underfilling, the four grassy areas on the walk would not drain off water very well, leaving them to
fill in a heavy rain and creating a mini-lake.
A company that the city was working with to provide a sampling of artificial
grass for other areas in the city offered to help, and that was installed on the
walk in February 2013. The new artificial grass has substantially solved the aforementioned problems.
New signs were added in May 2013 at the two entrances, with info about how to order pavers.
A Memorial Day ceremony was held in the early morning of 28 May 2013 with the widow of Marine Sgt. Alfredo Anzuldua (Vietnam KIA in 1969) lowering the flag
to the solemn notes of Taps."
The Veterans’ Memorial at Pendleton Park will be a lasting tribute to all who have served in the United States Armed Forces.
Support the Veterans' Memorial at Pendleton Park by donating a memorial brick
, a bench or a custom corporate logo and message engraved on array of pavers. Download the paver application form to fill out and mail in with payment, or order and donate online.
Find great resources for local treatment, benefits, resources, and more.
Connect with others and find answers to unique needs.
Our sincere THANKS to the Harlingen Community Band,
under the direction of Erika Uribe.
They were EXCELLENT, and contributed immensely to the Dedication,
along with the great voice of Vanessa Hinojosa.
Commanded by GySgt Sal Carmona, USMCRet and HPD Officer
Carried Rifle: Sgt Thomas Ayala, USArmy, Bn812
Carried US Flag: LCpl Justin Garcia and LCpl Marcos Gaona, USMC
Carried Army Flag: Sgt Joseph Gitierrez, USA, Bn319
Carried USMC Flag: Cpl Vincent Salas, USMC
Carried Navy Flag: BU3 Carolyn McEwen, USN
Carried Air Force Flag: MSgt Armando Tsukano, USAF
Carried Coast Guard Flag: BM3 Jacob Lovell, USCG
Carried Merchant Marine Flag: Frank Rolph
Carried MIA/POW Flag: Officer Raul Flores, HPD
Carried Rifle: LCpl Guillermo Huizar, USMC
Ushers and Traffic control provided by:
Harlingen High School Army JROTC -
1stSgt Moses Mendoza (US Army, Ret)
MSgt Tony Garcia (US Army, Ret)
Harlingen South High School Air Force JROTC:
Major David Casebeer (USAF Ret)
Cadets Anthony Mares and Perla Nunez
Marine Military Academy
SgtMaj Ford Kingsley (USMC, Ret)
Numerous cadets from MMA
Fabricated by the Killer Bees quilting club from Sunshine Country Estates.
Jan Baethke is the head of the Killer Bee Quilters.
Konnie Gush prepared the baskets.
Special THANKS to Lenore Combs (Lt, USAF, Ret), and to all the others who assisted with the many tasks involved..
a wonderful slide show
The flagpole casing installed and concrete being poured. The hole was a "little" larger than plans called for, but it was filled with over 10 TONS of concrete. "It will take a volcanic eruption to move this flagpole!" Needs to cure a few weeks now, and then the flagpole can be installed.
"The curbing for the new driveway/parking lot is nearly completed, and final caliche beeing installed before paving begins."
"The main Walkway where the Memorial will have the pavers leading to the flagpole and wall of honor, is AT the new elevation (2 feet above the old ground level), compacted, and awaiting curbing to start installing the pavers."
"GREAT news! The first shipment of engraved pavers are here, and are being sorted in preparation for the installation on the walk. The walkway is now "at" elevation on the site, and concrete work (curbing) should begin soon. Then caliche and 2" of sand, and then the pavers..
We are preparing the miniatures that folks have ordered to be distributed. That will take place at Ol'D's Soda Shop in a week or so."
"Brent Hunter, who, along with wife Laura, donated the flagpole for the new Memorial, helped unload it Wednesday afternoon. Unloaded and stored at the site, it will be removed from the shipping tube on Thursday, and moved to the rear of the construction site, awaiting installation in about three weeks."
As the backfilling and compacting of the Memorial walk continues, Gustavo Gonzalez prepares for the construction of the large boulders signifying the major conflicts of the last 110 years. Gustavo will have seven workmen on the site now, and anticipates (weather permitting) near completion by early July.
April 14th Status Report -----
(a) Backfilling of the walkway and the new driveway/parking lot will continue during the coming week (16-20 April.)
(b) The Flagpole (donated by Brent and Laura Hunter) has been shipped, and will arrive early next week.
(c) The first order of engraved pavers (375) will be shipped on 23 April. A second order has been placed, and we should have a ship date for those soon. We are continuing to take orders, and encourage everyone to get those mailed in, so we can include ALL at the dedication.
Still being discussed, but the latest planning is to have a formal "ribbon cutting" on Veterans' Day in November. Contingent on weather ----
(d) Pouring concrete of the curbing around the walkway, pads for the granite benches and water fountain and the installation of flagpole casing, should begin about April 19/20. Tropical Patios will be doing all of the walkway work.
(e) ALL of the blank pavers/patio block fillers are here, and ready for the walkway.
(f) Preparation of the new driveway and parking lot is on schedule, and those should be paved about the first week in May.
(g) Fabrication of the faux rocks began a few days ago, and will continue thru July. This work is begin done by Gustavo Gonzalez, who also has done the work on exhibits at Gladys Porter Zoo and Bobz World in Los Fresnos.
Work has begun on the footing foundation for the first large rock (WWII), in the southeast corner of the site.
The required foot of excavation on the walkway is completed, compacted, and awaiting testing so that backfilling 3 feet of new soil can begin. (That testing was completed today and the backfilling begins on 16 April, weather permitting.)
REY GARZA, Veterans' Memorial site Superintendent for CubCo Construction, spent eleven years in the Marine Corps as a Combat Engineer with the 1st Marine Division, and then two years in Afghanistan in the Army, before moving back to the Valley.
The first shipment of bricks (these are the blank ones to go around the base of the flagpole) arrived on April 2nd.
The new road from the back parking lot near the tennis courts, heading to the new parking lot alongside the Memorial, is well underway by the afternoon of April 2nd. In the background, grading of the new Memorial walkway is also underway.
"Oscar Ovalle, City of Harlingen Project Supervisor, explains the beginning steps to Regina Shipp (VMPC Vice Chairman), Allen Essex (VMS), and Fred Rendon (VMPC Chairman)."
"The site at Pendleton Park was turned over the the Contractor, CubCo Construction, on March 23rd, 2012 - and by the following Tuesday the new Construction sign was added , and work begun."
Mr. Frank Espinoza (right), AEP Texas Manager of Community Affairs, presents a donation check for $5,000 to Harlingen District 1 Commissioner Danny Castillo, honorary member of the Veterans’ Memorial Project Committee.
"We are honored to support this noble and worthy project," said Espinoza. "The sacrifices by those who have served our country must be preserved for future generations."
Sealed construction bids for the new Veterans’ Memorial at Pendleton Park will be opened at Harlingen City Hall at 2:30 pm on Tuesday, March 6th. Construction will begin soon thereafter.
The Veterans’ Memorial Committee, a private charity group, has committed to repaying 4B tax monies being advanced to build the Memorial, through the ongoing sales of engraved paver bricks and private donations.
Recently, the Harlingen Economic Development Board voted to advance the Veterans' Memorial Project the funds needed to build the Memorial. The budget amendment to authorize that was voted on and passed unanimously on Dec. 7th by the City Commission, on a first reading. The second reading, and hopefully final approval, for those funds will be on Dec. 27th, and liaison negotiations with the City point person should begin soon after that, to get construction started soon.
An announcement will be made soon after that, for the date when paver applications MUST be received, to guarantee the installation of those at the dedication.
Paver orders will continue to be accepted after that, but they might not be installed by the dedication.
It is the full intent of the Veterans' Memorial Committee, to repay ALL monies advanced by the city, and see this Memorial built entirely by the paver sales, and community support.