Congressman Michael McCaul

Representing the 10th District of Texas

The Eyes of Texas Are Upon Our Military Service Men and Women

May 28, 2018
McCaul Column

The eyes of Texas are upon our military service men and women this 150th Memorial Day – the men and women who courageously fought, and bravely dedicated their life in defense of our own. 

From our National Cemeteries in Dallas, El Paso, Houston, Kerrville, and San Antonio, to our local burial grounds, we will be paying an indebted gratitude to our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen. 

At 3pm local time, our nation will observe a moment of silence for these patriotic and intrepid souls.

For our state, we remember and honor the Texans who have fallen protecting our country.

Soldiers like First Lieutenant Louis John Jordan, the first Texas Longhorn to be selected as an All-American, who left his engineering job at the San Antonio Public Service Company to become a soldier in the U.S. Army during WWI.  The flagpole at Texas Memorial Stadium was dedicated to him, bestowing an honor on us to salute his sacrifice.  He is buried in Fredericksburg.

Sailors like Ensign Marie Margaret Boatman, a nurse and pre-med student who died with 26 other nurses, doctors, and crew members during the Korean Conflict.  She is interred in San Antonio.

Airmen like Colonel Neel Ernest Kearby and First Lieutenant Raymond Lee Knight, the only two U.S. P-47 fighter pilots awarded the Medal of Honor for their extraordinary actions in WWII.  They are buried in Dallas and Houston, respectively.

Marines like Sergeant Aflredo Cantu “Freddy” Gonzalez, another Texan who received the Medal of Honor for his actions leading an attack against heavy enemy fire in the Battle of Hue during Vietnam.  He is buried in Edinburg.

And Coast Guardsmen like Fireman Heriberto Hernandez, who received a Bronze Star for valor for his actions during a reconnaissance mission in Vietnam.  He and 52 other young men from his school district in San Antonio also lost their lives.  The U.S. Coast Guard cutter, USCGC Heriberto Hernandez was named in his honor.  He is buried in San Antonio.

These remarkable individuals are honored alongside the nearly 200 Texans in Afghanistan, over 400 Texans in Iraq, over 3,000 Texans in Vietnam, almost 2,000 Texans in Korea, and over 22,000 Texans in WWII, along with many more whose heroism, courage, and valor in battle have secured our life, liberty, and freedom.

In 1992, George H.W. Bush declared in his Memorial Day Address, “We must tell their stories so that our children and grandchildren will understand what our lives might have been like had it not been for their sacrifice.” 

This is the enduring legacy of our service men and women.  Their actions of the past preserve our future.

On Memorial Day, our flag is raised briskly to half-staff at sunrise.  At noon it is again raised to full-staff until sunset.  I will be saluting these heroes and the flag that symbolizes so much of their collective sacrifice.  Service men and women like First Lieutenant Louis John Jordan, Ensign Marie Margaret Boatman, Colonel Neel Ernest Kearby, First Lieutenant Raymond Lee Knight, Sergeant Alfredo Cantu “Freddy” Gonzalez, and Fireman Heriberto Hernandez will be in my thoughts and in my heart.

May God bless the brave and the strong.  May God bless Texas.  And May God bless the United States of America.