THE WOODLANDS, TX (KTRK) -- This was a day so many thought might never happen. The unveiling of a veteran's memorial in The Woodlands.
"It's a passion," said Bill Wingo, an Air Force veteran who helped the project, "If nobody served what would happen to this country. We wouldn't have freedom or liberty. We need people who serve."
The monument is called The Way Home. It depicts two soldiers from The Woodlands who both died in battle in 2007---Cory Kosters is pointing the way home to Zachary Endsley.
It is a tribute to them and the veterans of all branches of all wars who fought to defend our country and its ideals. Alongside the central statue are tiles honoring veterans by name. There are those still living, those who were prisoners of war or missing in action, and those who were killed in action.
Randy Keyes served 32 years in the army and was part of the team that raised money for the project.
"I hope that is says we care," said Keyes, standing next to the bronze monument crafted by sculptor Edd Hayes. "We cared enough to put something here that says thank you for your service. Thank you for the ultimate sacrifice."
The effort, which began in 2002 and gathered steam in 2007, is finally a reality. A place to honor and reflect.
"I hope that it is healing," said Wingo, "that it is thanks, that it
shows the gratitude of our country, of our community."
The Woodlands Township donated the land for the monument and will pay for the ongoing upkeep.
Statue unveiled at park in The Woodlands honors local area soldiers