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’We honor those who made our freedom possible’

’We honor those who made our freedom possible’
LA VERNIA VETERANS MEMORIAL/FACEBOOK Members of the La Vernia Veterans Memorial board take shovels in hand Nov. 11 to break ground for a memorial to be built in the La Vernia City Park. See more photos on page 7.

The La Vernia Veterans Memorial is a step closer to reality, following a groundbreaking event Nov. 11, during a Veterans Day ceremony in the La Vernia City Park.

Attended by local officials and dignitaries, including a number of military veterans and their family members, the ceremony was a solemn tribute to community members who have served in our nation’s military. The Veterans Day event featured posting of the colors by members of the American Legion Post No. 539 of St. Hedwig, a wreath presentation by cadets in San Antonio’s Alamo Composite Civil Air Patrol, an introduction by La Vernia Historical Association President Elaine M. Stephens, and comments offered by La Vernia Veterans Memorial Board Chairman Walter Scull III, a U.S. Navy veteran. H-E-B provided refreshments. La Vernia community veterans were honored to help “dig in” for the groundbreaking.

“In a world tormented by tension and the possibilities of further conflict,” Stephens said, “we meet in this quiet commemoration of an historic day of peace. In an age that threatens the survival of freedom, we join together to honor those who made our freedom possible.”

A veterans memorial for the city was first discussed by the La Vernia Historical Association in 2006; a fund-raiser was held the following year to get the project going. In 2014, the La Vernia Veterans Memorial Board was established by the historical association, to oversee the project and bring it to fruition. In addition to Walter Scull,the chairman, the board includes Stan Cuyler, Patrice Broderick, and John Hafner, all veterans; and Elaine Stephens, Susan Richter, Nancy Scull, and Kathy Kotelman.

The memorial will be built in phases ...a Patriots Pathway, foundation, blocks with inscriptions, benches, obelisk as funding is available. The projected cost of the memorial, based on an original design by Dusty Buckley of La Vernia, is estimated at $150,000 to $200,000. Veterans may be recognized with personalized bricks on the Patriots Pathway, donations toward the project, benches with the veterans’ names, and inscriptions of their names on the wall. The city of La Vernia will become the owner of the monument following completion.

“We stagger at the eternal debt we owe to the untold number of American veterans, who chose to set aside their personal ambitions and dreams to assure the wellbeing of our great nation,” Stephens said. “We, the living, are indeed the beneficiaries of those who made tremendous sacrifices for the ability for all of us to have the liberties we enjoy every day.”

To apply for a veteran to be recognized on the memorial, or for more information, visit

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