By DELANIA TRIGG, Register Staff Writer
Members of the Cooke County Texas A&M Club recently placed their support behind the city’s Medal of Honor Park.
Several members of the organization gathered Monday at the site of the park at the corner of Culberson and California Streets to present a check to the MOH Host City program’s “Adopt a Hero” project.
The A&M donation will help purchase bricks engraved with the names of Medal of Honor recipients.
Texas A&M has seven Medal of Honor recipients — Lt. Lloyd H. Hughes, class of 1943; Sgt. William G. Harrell, class of 1943; Lt. Thomas W. Fowler, class of 1943; Lt. Turney W. Leonard, class of 1942; Lt. Eli Whitely, class of 1941; Maj. Horace S. Carswell, Jr., class of 1938 and Sgt. George D. Keathley, class of 1937.
Cooke County Texas A&M Club secretary/treasurer Van Knight said the Medal of Honor Park project falls perfectly in line with the university’s philosophy.
“Texas A&M has a strong military tradition and heritage with the Corps of Cadets,” he said. “It’s still an active part of the university. Texas A&M has had graduates serve in the military since 1876 in all the major battles and wars from the Spanish American War to the War on Terrorism. So we wanted to honor those seven A&M graduates that were awarded the Medal of Honor in World War II. We’re just happy to support the Medal of Honor program here in Gainesville. It’s great for the Cooke County community.”
Host City founder Don Pettigrew said the commemorative bricks will be placed in a “Walk of Honor” in the park.
“Our project will place a brick for every Congressional Medal of Honor recipient since the inception of the decoration,” he said. “People can participate by Adopting a Hero. Their $100 donation will ensure that a commemorative brick bearing that recipient’s name will be in the Walk of Honor.”
Pettigrew said MOH park supporters can request a recipient by name, by war or by the recipient’s branch of service.
“They can also let our organization chose a recipient for them,” he added.
Donors will receive a certificate acknowledging their gift and the name of the recipient they have sponsored.
Officials are set to break ground on the Medal of Honor park April 12, during Medal of Honor Host City activities. The ceremony is scheduled to include visiting MOH recipients.
For more information on the Adopt a Hero project or any other host city activities visit medalofhonorhostcity.com. The donation form is also available on the site.
Medal of Honor Host City activities begin this year with the recipients’ arrival on the afternoon of April 10.
In addition to the MOH park groundbreaking, the recipients will attend a fish fry, a banquet, a parade and other events in their honor.