The Prosper Historical Society hosted their second annual Celebration of Heroes event, a Memorial Day remembrance, at the Frontier Park Pavilion on Monday, May 29, 2017.
The event included a recognition of local veterans and emergency responders, the presentation of colors, the Pledge of Allegiance, the singing of the National Anthem as well as “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America,” and speeches by three main speakers: Former Marine Honorable Judge John Roach, Jr., Honorable Jay A. Bender and County Commissioner Susan Fletcher. Donna Elliott, president of the Prosper Historical Society said she is happy the Historical Society is able to reach out to the community through this event.
“This is bringing this community together, and it’s something that touches everybody, anywhere they live, because those people sacrificed for all of us,” Elliott said. “We’re not just honoring the fallen veterans who lived here, we’re honoring all veterans who sacrificed for us.”
Cap Parry, Historical Society member and veteran who served in Korea from 1953 to19‘56, said this event is special to him and his family and he is thankful the community came out to honor fallen veterans.
“It almost makes me cry to see a crowd like this come out and honor veterans, it’s wonderful,” Parry said. “I had no idea we would be so successful and I’m glad to see people give up a little bit of their time to give thanks.”
During the event the Historical Society introduced the rendering of the plans they have for a Prosper Veterans Memorial in Frontier Park, which will honor all veterans, especially the fallen heroes from Prosper. The idea of building a veterans memorial in Prosper originated about four years ago, and they are excited to finally make it happen.
Historical Society member Ron Underwood said he is looking forward to completing the project that has been a long time coming.
“The Historical Society has been pushing very, very hard over the last few years to get a Veterans Memorial,” Underwood said. “And the Town of Prosper and the Historical Society finally signed a license agreement and we have a perfect spot at Frontier Park.”
Parry said the memorial has already been designed and they should have it finished within a year.
“It will be a gathering place for events like this and certainly for Veterans Day in November we will have a program there,” Parry said. “It’s a place where people will be able to come and memorialize veterans. Today we memorialize those who died, but this will be for all who served.”
Prosper Veterans Memorial Committee member Brad Nichols, who is the grandson of past Historical Society President Bill Hays, said they are starting the fundraising efforts to raise one million dollars to break ground on the memorial.
“We’re working with Pogue Construction and they told us they can build in in one or two months after we break ground,” Nichols said. “So our biggest obstacle right now is to get the funds together to build it.”
He said people in the community can purchase the bricks that will go around the memorial to honor family members from all five branches of the military and that the community is the most important part of this process.
“In the fundraising efforts we’re not wanting just corporate America to donate, we also want the community of Prosper,” Nichols said. “We want the sense of community that everybody helped out with this project and they can be prideful of this memorial. It’s something they can come to and remember their loved ones. Really, this is for the community and we want community involvement as well. That’s our goal.”