HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As American's observed Veteran's Day, it was the perfect day for the unveiling of a mural honoring a Houston Latino war hero.
Staff Sgt. Marcario Garcia was the first Mexican-American to be awarded the Medal of Honor in 1945. He is considered a trailblazer in the Hispanic civil rights movement, even while many Hispanics who served our nation at the time faced discrimination back home.
Garcia was once denied service at a local restaurant because he was Hispanic. He fought for justice and equality.
"It wasn't an easy path," said Houston City Council Member Robert Gallegos. "They suffered discrimination and harassment while in service and sadly when they returned home."
Several city leaders on Thursday talked about what it meant to memorialize the local war hero with the mural.
"I'm a member of this community, this Hispanic community, first-generation immigrant, so when I see someone like Marcario Garcia here, I know it's people like him who came before us that allowed people like me to rise to titles like assistant fire chief, and positions and elected officials," said HFD Assistant Chief Ruy Lozano. "Because if you remember race relations at that time, it was not easy to move up."
The mural is located at Houston Fire Station 20 on Navigation Boulevard in the East End.