Fritch residents dedicate veterans memorial

The ceremony including sounding a bell to honor the name of each veteran as it was read from the memorial walls
Alex Mann
Managing Editor

While residents across the region finalized plans for their Halloween night, families in Fritch spent their Saturday lunch hour at City Park to show support for local veterans. A series of new memorial walls were dedicated on Saturday in the park, and local veterans, citizens, and supporters from across the county, and even across the state gathered to recognize the brave soldiers, both alive and deceased, whose names are now permanently etched into the memorial.
As the program began, Vicki Wilson a key figure behind the memorial’s construction, welcomed the gathering, and introduced Pastor Jerry Don Cheshire with Fritch’s First Methodist Church to open the ceremony with prayer. “Father we thank you for this day you’ve given us where we can celebrate our nation, our fallen heroes, and those that are still alive.” Cheshire says, “We just ask your blessing on each of us here… In Jesus precious name, Amen.”

While a number of Fritch and Borger residents turned out to show their support, Wilson also recognized a number of guests from out of town. “We’d like to say thank you to the Veterans Patriot Riders today, they brought all the flags here today from DFW.” Wilson announced, “Thank you all very much.” The countess American banners lining the park were a sight to behold, and the veteran riders offered the greatest degree of respect and grace as they stood at attention during the course of the dedication.
Other visitors were in attendance as well, including the region’s representative in the Texas capitol, Four Price. After an introduction from Wilson, Price stood to offer his own thanks to all the veterans gathered. “Thank you Vicki. What an incredible privilege to be here today and pay tribute to our veterans, those who’ve passed away and those who are still with us.” Price begins, “I want to say how much how much I appreciate the invitation and the opportunity to speak for a few minutes. I probably speak publicly three or four times a week, and have for years, and I’m never at a loss for words. I never get too nervous about it… except for one time, and that’s when I’m speaking to veterans or veterans groups. That’s because I don’t think there are any words I can summon to convey to you just how appreciative I am for what you’ve done, and the sacrifices you’ve made…” He continues, “I think Texas is the greatest state in the greatest country on the planet, and one thing I’m so proud of is that Texas honors its veterans with more than just words. We’ve taken steps as a state to honor veterans with real actions. We’ve passed statutes and laws to benefit our veterans both from a financial standpoint, a criminal justice standpoint, a mental health and treatment standpoint, and I can’t tell you how proud I am of what has gone on in the State of Texas over the past several years with respect to our veterans.”
Other speakers included Fritch Mayor Kelley Henderson, a representative of Congressman Mac Thornberry’s office, and others, but the highlight of the dedication was the reading of the names. Once each wall was honored, the event concluded, and the gathering dismissed to visit with one another, share stories, and enjoy a lunch prepared by event organizers. However even as the dedication closed, the monuments promised to stand as a permanent reminder of the bravery and service born out of Hutchinson County.