PRESENT AT THE MONUMENT OF COURAGE
GOLD STAR FAMILIES
The term “Gold Star” describes a family member who has lost a loved one in military service. The Gold Star first made an appearance during World War I after being placed over a service flag’s blue star when a service member was killed in combat. The Gold Star signified the family’s pride in the loved one’s sacrifice rather than the mourning of their personal loss.
MEDAL OF HONOR
The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Only 3,497 Recipients in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard have been awarded this acknowledgment of extraordinary achievement in military service.
THE PURPLE HEART
The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the armed forces of the U.S. who are wounded by an instrument of war in the hands of the enemy and posthumously to the next of kin in the name of those who are killed in action or die of wounds received in action. It is specifically a combat decoration.
The Regional Monument of Courage was constructed in Lubbock, Texas, to honor and remember 12 Medal of Honor recipients, Purple Heart recipients and Gold Star families from across the West Texas region. It represents individual heroes and their families from the top of the Texas Panhandle down to Midland-Odessa, uniting an area of more than 500,000 square miles. There are 931 heroes’ names dating back to World War I inscribed on the granite slabs of the memorial. The monument is constructed near the Lubbock Area Veterans War Memorial in Henry Huneke Park on 84th street and Nashville.
In 1782 General George Washington created the “Badge of Military Merit” to set apart individuals, men and women of all ages, who were killed or wounded in combat during the revolution against the British. Today the Badge of Military Merit is known as the “Purple Heart Medal” and is awarded in the name of the president to honor military members lost or wounded in combat. All 931 soldiers named on the war memorial’s wall received the Purple Heart Medal. The community united by this cause follows in General Washington’s footsteps through the Regional Monument of Courage.
Chapter 0900, Military order of the Purple Heart, the Ancile White VFW Post 2466 and the American Legion’s George S. Berry Post 575, who are all from Lubbock and a local advisory committee, are called “The Friends of the Monument” and sponsor regional fundraising and the construction of the monument.
A groundbreaking was held on November 11, 2018, the 100th Anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended WWI. The dedication ceremony was August 7, 2020, National Purple Heart Day.