Memorial Day In Laredo: A Visit to the Hispanic Medal of Honor Monument

Memorial Day In Laredo:  Hispanic Medal Of Honor Monument

 

We went to the Hispanic Medal of Honor Monument today to pay our respects and learn a little on this Memorial Day.  I had not realized that we’ve passed by the monument several times on our way downtown.  Positioned on the corner, behind a bank, of Matamoros and San Dario, it almost blends with its surroundings.  I’m glad we went-  It is quite a nice monument to Hispanic Medal of Honor recipients throughout our country’s war history.

The monument is surrounded by four colorful  mosaic benches that form a circle.  The benches seem to form a sort of symbolic shield to protect the monument, much as the servicemembers represented on the polished wall protected those they were fighting with and for.

In the center of the monument, is a statue of Private David Barkeley, our first Hispanic Medal of Honor recipient.  He drowned during the first World War while returning to his unit from a scouting mission.

My small children enjoyed bouncing between the mosaic tile benches and looking at the blue wildflowers growing underneath the three flag poles flying the American Flag.  I had to work a little to divert their attention to the statue.  I tried to put it all into terms they could understand.   I explained that the statue was of a Soldier who passed away like Quincy (our pet millipede) and that he passed away helping others.  This made him a hero.

My kids nodded like they understood. But, I wasn’t sure.  They went back to bouncing on the benches and watching the big rigs pass by on the highway.  (Safety Note:  You definitely need to keep tight hold of your kids since it’s on a street corner right off of the I-35 feeder road).

Afterward, we went to see the alligators at the LCC Environmental Science Center, ate dinner and dessert.  I decided to quiz my oldest daughter, who will be four soon, to see if she remembered anything about our visit.  I asked her to tell her daddy what we saw when we went to the statue today.  Our conversation went like this:

“What did we see at the statue today?”

“A SO-JER”

“Right!   And what did the Soldier do?

“He was good to people.”

“What do we call people who pass away helping other people?”

“SUPERHEROES!!!!!!”

Yes, that is exactly right.  We call them Superheroes.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day and that we continue to remember all the men and women who have fallen in service to the country.

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4 Responses to Memorial Day In Laredo: A Visit to the Hispanic Medal of Honor Monument

  1. Great article, but did you also explain to your kids that if they lived in Laredo and were to be awarded the Medal of Honor that their names would not be recognized anywhere in town as they are not Hispanic.

    • Tom, I knew you’d catch that post! :) I didn’t go into all that with them. I was just happy they remembered the words “soldier” and “hero”! But, if one of them did win an MOH, hopefully not posthumously, I would campaign for a monument, too- In every city they ever lived.

  2. awww…I love her answer….SUPERHEROES!! She is absolutely right!! Thanks for posting this. I have pasted that place all the time and never stopped to see what it was. We will go check it out!!! thanks!

    • Awesome, Kasey! We had no idea about it last year until we googled it! And it is super easy to miss! I’m excited that you guys are going to check it out, too! :)

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