San Jacinto Monument illumination event honoring fallen soldiers to make Texas history

LA PORTE, Texas (KTRK) -- A big event honoring Texas heroes is coming to the Houston area, and organizers say they need help remembering thousands of soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

As the sun sets in La Porte on Nov. 13, the first Texas Memorial Illumination will get underway at the San Jacinto Monument.

The family-friendly event invites visitors to drive through the San Jacinto battlefield, which will be set aglow by thousands of candles in memory of Texans killed in armed conflicts around the world.

"We're going to place and light 21,501 luminaries to honor those who have fallen from the Texas Revolution through Afghanistan," said Gina Manlove, with the San Jacinto Museum of History.

Inspired by the Antietum National Battlefield's memorial illumination in Maryland, this event will mark a first for a Texas battlefield.

"(The Illumination) is an opportunity for regular folks just like us who want to express our patriotism, very simple, and we want to honor those who have given their all for us for our freedoms that we're enjoying today," Manlove said.

Co-organizer Denton Florian said it's an event fitting of its home.

"The San Jacinto Monument is the tallest war memorial in the world," Florian said. "This is the perfect place to have this event, because it is the symbol of Texas liberty, it is the symbol of our values in Texas, and what we stand for."

More than 1,000 volunteers will be needed in all to get this year's event off the ground, preparing bags and candles through October before placing them at the battleground site.

Volunteers will be invited to participate in a special ceremony, before experiencing the illumination ahead of the gates opening at 6 p.m.

"All types of groups can participate in this," Florian said. "This is a great activity for you to be involved in and it's something to be very proud to be involved in."

In addition to volunteers, organizers are also seeking monetary donations and access to:
  • Forklifts
  • Front-end loaders
  • Wood pallets
  • Large tents

If you would like to help, visit or call Gina Manlove at 713-376-6281.

ABC13 Houston is proud to serve as official media sponsor of the Texas Memorial Illumination.
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