Support for new Montgomery County Veterans War Memorial mounts as plans take shape to decommission old one in November

Retired U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Jimmie Edwards III is on a mission to move and expand the Montgomery County Veterans War Memorial, announcing the decommissioning of the current park in downtown Conroe is set for Nov. 12.

Edwards, who also served as county judge from 1983-87, spoke to commissioners court Tuesday about the status of the project. Since initially announcing his plan to move and expand the park in January, Edwards has started raising money, found space at the Montgomery County Flag Park for the memorial and formed the Montgomery County Veterans Memorial Commission.

“We are growing and we anticipate we will have 15 members,” Edwards said.

The current members of the commission are Floyd Wayne Stewart, Melanie Curtsinger, Georganna Christopher, Judy Doroy and Duke Coon.

Also during the meeting, Edwards thanked the members of the Golden Needles Quilt Guild of Montgomery County for the creation of a patriotic quilt to be raffled off later this year. The quilt will be on display at the Montgomery County Library.

The Montgomery County War Memorial Park was dedicated in 1976 by former President Gerald Ford and then rebuilt in 1987. Located in downtown Conroe next to the Montgomery County Tax Office, the small park is home to something very special – 166 names of local men killed in action during their military service.

Edwards is no stranger to taking charge. After his service to the country, Edwards went on to serve Texas as a state representative during the 1970s before leading Montgomery County as county judge. In fact, it was Edwards who led the effort to rebuild the park in the late 1980s.

At that time, the sitting Commissioners Court members, including Edwards as county judge, all donated $5,000 to rebuild the park and constructed a fountain to bear the names of the fallen military members.

Now, 20 years later, Edwards believes the best thing for the park is to move it, possibly to the Montgomery County Flag Park, where more people can visit and enjoy the memorial.

“The park, brick by brick, pole by pole and bench by bench, will be moved to a new site,” Edwards said in a previous article. “We are only limited by what our perception of what this park should be. (We want it to be) a place that people can come to, a place of serenity, peace or reconciliation. It can be a lot of things.”

County Commissioners Mike Meador, Charlie Riley and Jim Clark all committed $15,000 out of their county funds toward the project, while Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack donated $5,000 out of his own campaign funds and raised another $10,250 for the project.

Last week, state Sen. Brandon Creighton, R Conroe, helped pass Senate Concurrent Resolution 51 out of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs & Border Security, which urges the Texas Department of Transportation, the Texas Historical Commission, the Texas Veterans Commission and all other appropriate state agencies to offer support to the Montgomery County Veterans Memorial Commission in its mission to establish the new veterans memorial in Conroe.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to the men and women who have sacrificed so much in service to our nation,” Creighton stated in a release. “I appreciate the Montgomery County Veterans Memorial Commission in their effort to ensure that these American heroes are remembered for years to come.”

By Catherine Dominguez
The Courier