Special to the Review
The Athens Review
This Veterans' Day, history will be made in Henderson County.
Although the Henderson County Veterans' Memorial Wall has been completed and opened for viewing in the past month, the official dedication will take place Monday, Nov. 11 at 11:30 a.m. at the East Texas Arboretum.
Peggy Rhodes, President of the Arboretum, said, “The East Texas Arboretum is very honored to present to Henderson County the Veterans' Memorial Wall. The wall is a breathtaking tribute to all who have served and sacrificed from Henderson County in all wars of record. We feel it showcases the immense pride felt by the people of Henderson County toward their service family.”
Executive Director Teresa Glasgow said that because of the expected large turn out, offsite parking will be needed.
Parking at the Arboretum will only be open to those in the program and guests that require handicapped parking.
The Living for the Brand Cowboy Church, located east of the Arboretum on Loop 7, has graciously allowed patrons to use their parking spaces for this event. Shuttle buses will transport to and from the Arboretum.
“The event starts at 11:30 a.m. so please plan to be there at the parking site at least 20 minutes or more earlier, so the event may start on time. Early arrivals will be thoroughly entertained,” Glasgow said.
A Civil War camp will be set up on the grounds, as well as other war memorabilia. There will also be a concession stand with burgers and drinks.
Plans for the dedication have been in the works for the last three months. Dr. Byron McGilvary from Trinity Valley Community College will be conducting his choir. Jeff Russell, band director from Brownsboro High School, and Rusty Lay, band director from Athens High School, will be combining the talents of their bands for the presentation of the Battle Hymn of the Republic.
State Rep. Lance Gooden and Commissioner of the Texas Department of Agriculture Todd Staples will be among the speakers for the dedication.
Jon Rutherford, a professional recording artist, will sing a song he wrote titled, “Fight For Freedom.”
There will also be a color guard presentation, and letters from service men and women that were written from various war periods will be read.
One of the letters is the last one that was written home from Benny Don Rogers, who was killed in action during the Korean War.
Glasgow also suggests that a supply of facial tissues would be a good idea.
After the dedication, various choirs from local schools will perform throughout the day until 2 p.m.
East Texas Arboretum is located at 1601 Patterson Road in Athens. For more information, visit www.easttexasarboretum.org