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Montgomery County Veterans Memorial Commission’s unveils first monument in new park


Photo: Jason Fochtman / Staff Photographer

Conroe Noon Lions Club current President Bobby Brennan jokes with retired United States Marine Corps Cpl. Jimmie Edwards III during the dedication of the Montgomery County Veterans Memorial Monument, Wednesday, June 5, 2019, in Conroe.

A steady drizzle of rain was no obstacle for former Montgomery County Judge and retired United State Marine Cpl. Jimmie Edwards III as he led the charge to unveil the first memorial monument at the site of the new Montgomery County Veterans Memorial Park Wednesday.

“On Normandy beach they didn’t pick their weather,” Edwards said of having the event despite the rainy conditions. “If they can do it, we sure as hell can do it here in Montgomery County.”

Photo: Jason Fochtman / Staff Photographer
A large marker standing more than 15 feet tall for the Montgomery County Veterans Memorial Monument was unveiled, Wednesday, June 5, 2019, in Conroe.

The monument, which stands more than 15 feet tall, is dedicated to all branches of the military and represents a step forward in Edwards’ and the members of the Montgomery County Veterans Memorial Commission’s vision for the new park at Interstate 45 and Texas 105. The park will also honor first responders.

For Edwards, the standing-room-only crowd, is a testament to the support for the park.

“It was a great showing,” Edwards said adding the importance of unveiling the monument on the eve of the 75th anniversary of D-Day. “We thought this was a good time to (unveil the monument).”

On June 6, 1944, more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline, to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France, according to information from the U.S. Army. More than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion. The cost in lives on D-Day was high with more than 9,000 allied soldiers killed or wounded.

Photo: Jason Fochtman / Staff Photographer
Veteran Carl Overton with VFW Post 618 salutes beside other veterans during a D-Day observance ceremony and dedication of the Montgomery County Veterans Memorial Monument, Wednesday, June 5, 2019, in Conroe.

Edwards, who was critically injured during the Vietnam War and ultimately lost both legs from the knees down, began the mission to relocate the park from downtown Conroe in January 2017. His goal is to improve the park, which has 166 names of local men killed in action during their military service. The $8 million project has gained the support of all the cities in the county along with local and state leaders.

“This memorial park is a gift from Montgomery County to the people of the nation,” Edwards said. “This park will symbolize everything we value across this country and I am very pleased to be a small part of it.”

Mayor Pro Tem Duke Coon, who is a veteran of the United States Navy and a member of the Montgomery County Veterans Memorial Commission, called the event a milestone.

“It’s our first monument in the park,” he said. “This memorial will stand in remembrance of those who fought 75 years ago, those who fought before them and those who fought after them.”

The Montgomery County Veterans Memorial Commission is continuing to raise funds for the project. No completion date has been released. For more information visit https://mcvetmemorialpark.org/

The Courier July 6, 2019

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