Col. Frank S. Plummer is a man in a hurry. As a veteran he fears life won't be long enough to see his dream come to fruition. Since 1988 his mission has been to help design and complete the central and most significant portion of the Veterans War Memorial of Texas located at 29th Street & Galveston in McAllen.
Flying in from the North, the American Spire of Honor grabs attention. Located in the center of the park the black granite spire soars 105 ft into our blue Texas sky. It is a jaw dropping sight. The spire has a hollow center with a ladder inside.
The detail of the sculptures, accuracy of the narrative is an eye opener for visitors. Even the guns the soldiers carry are the authentic ones used at that period in history.
It helps all of us, and especially the children, to see in unbiased facts what has gone before protect the freedoms they have today. Much of history and the ramifications of our ongoing fight to retain our country's freedom gets lost in the everyday struggles families face.
All the women's military divisions are represented at the memorial. In addition to the statuary already in place, plans are to add the life-sized sculpture of Audi Murphy, Abe Lincoln, Paul Revere, the Choctaw code talkers of WWI from Oklahoma and "Give me liberty, or give me death," Patrick Henry.
When Col. Plummer talks about his vision, you are there, listening to our forefathers speak. When you are in the park, you are drawn into history like no history book, class or lecture can duplicate.
Col. Plummer said, "I like to watch unobserved while visitors walk the park. It makes all the effort worth it when you see their raw emotions surface. A woman placing a hand on the cheek of a lost son or daughter, a grief stricken widow leaning her forehead against her husband’s memorial photo. I get choked up every time."
Hundreds of names and images of the fallen are engraved deeply on black granite walls throughout the park. All pathways lead straight to the Spire of Honor.
This memorial is a tribute, but it is more than that. It is a community effort. Artists and citizens in both McAllen and Mission have devoted hours of their time, money from their pockets to help Col. Plummer in his desire to memorialize the brave men and women from around the world who have served our country. Col. Plummer notes, "The Valley is the most patriotic place in the United States, many of the retired veterans live here."
Historic detail of important events and battles are etched in the black granite. Their stories bring the people who played parts in history into public conscious. You can find that and more at the Veterans War Memorial.
Local sculptor Douglas Clark is the primary artist responsible for the many stunning bronze statues that seem to bring the memorial to life. He is also responsible for the engraved images and names in the black marble at Veterans Memorial Park.
The Veterans War Memorial is a non-profit enterprise. Donations from individuals and business, families and corporations are the machines that will take this project over the finish line to completion. Ceremonies are held frequently there to honor, remember and celebrate the men and women who step up to defend our country.
For more information, visit the website www.mcallen.net/veterans. Or call Col. Frank S. Plummer, USA (Ret), at 956-631-2511.