About the Memorials
History of the Memorial
Bob Romano, a former councilman, presented a vision for an Irving veterans memorial to the City Council in 1998. Mayor Morris Parrish asked Romano to appoint and chair a committee to oversee the project. The original Irving Veterans Memorial Park Committee consisted of Romano; Bob Moffatt, secretary; Thomas Prague, treasurer; and members Louise Anderson, Douglass Bales, Ann Danford, John Danish, Jack Gray, Scott Hannah, Tally Parker and Shel Stern.
The City Council authorized the committee to use two acres of land adjacent to the Central Library for the memorial. To finance the first phase of construction and increase public awareness of the project, committee members sold commemorative clay bricks. In addition, Mayor Joe Putnam and the City Council agreed to provide $140,000 for the construction of Phase I.
Work began on Phase I early 2004. Many contractors donated their efforts and helped bring the project in under budget. The main feature in Phase I was the curved Wall of Commemoration. The wall’s large plaques contain the names of Irving residents who died while in service to their country. Additional features in Phase I include the Plaza of Flags representing the United States, State of Texas, City of Irving, and the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and POW-MIA. The Walk of Honor was created by placing commemorative engraved clay bricks in the sidewalk. The first phase of the memorial was dedicated May 23, 2004.
In the summer of 2004, John Danish became chairman of the Veterans Memorial Park Committee, and Ann Danford was named secretary. In 2006, Mayor Herbert A. Gears and the City Council included funding for the expansion of the memorial in a citywide bond election. Irving voters approved issuing $3 million in general obligation bonds to complete the Irving Veterans Memorial Park. Features included in the expansion were the Pool of Hope, the Perpetual River of Freedom, and the Plaza of the World, which includes bronze medallions marking areas of major U.S. military conflict. Engraved granite memorial blocks purchased by donors are on battlement walls throughout the grounds. The completed memorial park was dedication on May 17, 2009. On the day of the dedication, a time capsule was sealed in this wall. The capsule is to be opened on Memorial Day, 2109.
Honoring citizens of Irving who gave their lives in service to our country.
"The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose ... is the path of surrender, or submission." - President John F. Kennedy
World War I
|PFC||Earl G. Conaway||ARMY|
|CPL||Noah R. Story||ARMY|
World War II
|PVT||Glen W. Austin||ARMY|
|1st LT||Robert M. Barren||ARMY|
|PFC||Charles F. Barton||ARMY|
|1ST LT||Frank N. Broach, Jr.||ARMY|
|SGT||James B. Candy||ARMY|
|2nd LT||Bobbie C. Canon||ARMY|
|PVT||Marvin A. Carlisle||ARMY|
|PFC||L. Glenn Collett||USMCR|
|1st LT||W. Fred Cox||ARMY|
|GM3c||Ernest B. Cribbs||USNR|
|2nd LT||Harry C. Crump, Jr.||ARMY|
|CPT||Walter P. Crump||ARMY|
|1st LT||Harold C. Donaldson||ARMY|
|PVT||William W. Doss||ARMY|
|FN1c||Lenox B. Drake, Jr.||NAVY|
|PFC||William C. Gresham||ARMY|
|TSGT||William H. Harris||ARMY|
|TM3c||Austin P. Jeter||NAVY|
|MM1c||Morgan R. Lyon||USNR|
|SSGT||Joseph H. Mathis||ARMY|
|AVC||Warren M. Mozley, Jr.||ARMY|
|2nd LT||Durward L. Oilar||ARMY|
|CPL||Garland H. Palmar||ARMY|
|1st LT||Glen W. Paradise||ARMY|
|PVT||Vernon D. Paradise||ARMY|
|SN1c||Albert F. Sain||USNR|
|PVT||Thomas H. Schmitt||ARMY|
|1st LT||Gerald Scott||ARMY|
|1st LT||John W. Simmons, Jr.||ARMY|
|SGT||Virgil D. Walker||ARMY|
|CPL||Robert A. Churchill||USMC|
|SN||Louis C. Stark, Jr.||NAVY|
|PVT||Michael P. Aaron||USMC|
|SGT||Paul H. Abraham||ARMY|
|SP4||John S. Alling, Jr.||ARMY|
|PFC||Robert L. Bone||ARMY|
|PFC||Robert O. Buckner, Jr.||ARMY|
|PFC||William M. Cain||USMC|
|CPL||C. Don Champion||ARMY|
|PVT||Gary G. Currier||ARMY|
|SSGT||Wilhelm K. Dammer||ARMY|
|PFC||Roger D. Davenport||ARMY|
|PFC||Joe R. Dominguez||USMC|
|PFC||Carl W. Dorries||USMC|
|PFC||Martin W. Droigk||USMC|
|PFC||Jerry L. Ervin||ARMY|
|CPT||Terry A. Hale||ARMY|
|PFC||Clarence L. Harlow||ARMY|
|PFC||Ivan D. Homsley||ARMY|
|SN||Roger R. Jacks||USCG|
|PFC||Jerry W. Jenkins||ARMY|
|WO||Stephen L. Lane||ARMY|
|ENS||Edward J. LaTour||NAVY|
|SP6||Paul B. McKinney||ARMY|
|GMG3||Herman A. Miller II||NAVY|
|SGT||Thomas G. Modisette||ARMY|
|SP4||Walter L. Moore||ARMY|
|SP4||Jorge L. Nieves||ARMY|
|MSGT||Charles A. Paradise||USAF|
|CPT||Dennis M. Philips||ARMY|
|LCPL||Don M. Robertson||USMC|
|PFC||Robert T. Russell II||ARMY|
|AA||Larry D. Schumacher||ARMY|
|CPL||Varde W. Smith II||USMC|
|SP4||Tommy D. Walker||ARMY|
|A1C||Arlon D. Wall, Jr.||USAF|
|PFC||Steven A. Wessel||ARMY|
|MAJ||Albert D. Wester||USAF|
|SPC||J. Adan Garcia||ARMY|
|COL||Linda D. Green||ARMY|
|SGT||Paul T. Sanchez||ARMY|
|SPC||Josiah H. Vandertulip||ARMY|
|CPT||M. Ardell Ward, Jr.||USAF|
Irving and World War I
World War I began in Europe in August 1914. The Central Powers, including Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Turkey, fought the Entente Powers, which included France, the United Kingdom, Italy, and, for a time, Russia. Over three years, the factions battled to a bloody stalemate in Europe. The United States joined the Entente in April 1917. American forces helped tip the scales in favor of the Entente. Germany, the last of the Central Powers to lay down its arms, signed an armistice on Nov. 11, 1918.
At the time of World War I, the United States was a rural country where most people were born and reared on farms and rarely traveled far from home. When the U.S. entered the war, young men and women from across the country left their homes and went into military service. The conflict exposed much of rural America, and especially the military personnel, to the cruel vagaries of war and to the cultures and ideas of the world beyond their small communities.
The town of Irving, Texas, was a reflection of rural American life at the time. Founded in 1903, Irving was a trading center for the farmers and ranchers of northwest Dallas County. Many area residents lived on small farms and raised fruit and vegetables that they sold at the market in Dallas. Irving’s entire business district spanned two short blocks along unpaved Main Street and consisted of a brick bank, a few general stores, and two drug stores.
In 1914, Irving was still a tiny farm town with dirt streets; and in 1917 had a population of fewer than 500. Although the great conflict was half a world away, it soon became a very real part of the lives of Irving’s residents.
An estimated 20 million people died in what was then called “The Great War.” Of those, about 117,000 were members of the U.S. military. Two young men from Irving lost their lives in the war.
Irving and World War II
During the 1930s and early 1940s, militarism was on the march in Asia and Europe. Japan invaded China in 1937. The next year in Europe, Germany annexed Austria and Czechoslovakia. After Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, France and the United Kingdom declared war on Germany. Japan’s attack on the United States’ naval base at Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands on December 7, 1941, brought the U.S. into the conflict against the Axis powers led by Germany, Japan and Italy. In a war that raged around the globe, the Allied Powers, led by the United States, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.S.R., fought to halt the expansion of the Axis Powers. After years of brutal struggle, the Allies emerged victorious in Europe in May 1945 and in Asia and the Pacific in August 1945.
Sixteen million Americans served in the armed forces during World War II. Thousands were from Dallas County and many from the small town of Irving. Lives abruptly changed as young men and women left their peacetime pursuits and trained to deploy around the world as pilots, sailors, nurses, infantrymen, and code breakers, among many other duties. More than 70 million people worldwide lost their lives during the war; about 400,000 were American. Thirty-three Irvingites made the supreme sacrifice while serving in the military during World War II.
In the two decades between the end of World War I and the U.S. entry into World War II, the town of Irving remained a small farming community. In 1940, Irving’s population was 1,089. The town supported one elementary school, a high school and a few businesses along Main Street. While farming was still prevalent, the war years brought lifestyle changes to many residents as they took jobs in war-related industries located nearby.
After the war, many young veterans, now with experience beyond their years, returned to Irving or moved here and provided steady leadership as the small town expanded rapidly over the next decades.
Irving and The Korean War
Only five years after the end of World War II, trouble in Korea abruptly thrust the nation into another war. After World War II, the victorious Allied Powers divided the Korean peninsula along the 38th parallel, placing the northern section under Soviet supervision and the southern region under U.S. supervision.
In July of 1950, North Korean forces invaded the south, forcing American and South Korean troops into a small defensive perimeter. After condemning North Korean aggression, the United Nations joined the conflict. Referred to as a “police action,” the battle was fought under the banner of the United Nations.
Reinforcements helped the beleaguered U.S. and South Korean forces break out and retake all of South Korea and also to seize a large portion of North Korea. China then entered the war and pushed the U.N. forces back to the south. A stalemate soon set in around the original boundary between the countries. While fighting continued over the next two years, the opposing factions worked to reach a peace accord. They signed a cease-fire agreement in July 1953.
Over the three years of fighting, 33,686 American military personnel lost their lives. Two servicemen from Irving died in the course of the war.
During the 1950s, people moved to Irving from Dallas and surrounding towns in a wave of suburbanization that swept America. Many of the new residents worked in the nearby defense plants, commuted to Dallas or built businesses in Irving. The small farming town of 2,500 became a suburb of almost 50,000 and an integral part of a growing metropolitan area.
Irvingites, like other Americans, were well aware of events in Korea. However, because the war was confined to the Korean peninsula and did not demand the full use of this nation’s military and civilian resources, it had a muted impact on the home front. As a result, the Korean War is sometimes referred to as the “forgotten war.”
Irving and the Vietnam War
The 1960s, a decade of prosperity in the U.S., were a time of turmoil in distant areas of the globe. One such place was Southeast Asia, which was torn by war in Vietnam.
Vietnam had won independence from France in 1954. During the peace negotiations, the country was divided between north and south – the north under communist control, and the south under anti-communist control. Seeking to reunite the nation, North Vietnam supported an insurgency in the south.
The U.S. sent military advisers to South Vietnam during the 1950s and early 1960s. Conditions deteriorated, and in 1965, at the peak of U.S. participation in the conflict, 500,000 American troops were deployed there.
The fighting shared some aspects of a conventional war, but for the most part was a guerrilla war that proved difficult and frustrating for U.S. forces. American involvement in the hostilities ended in 1973 with a peace agreement.
The war was fought against the backdrop of the Cold War, a battle of ideologies waged between the United States and the Soviet Union in the decades after World War II. During this period of tension, the U.S., U.S.S.R. and their allies engaged in proxy wars around the globe, each side striving to prove the superiority of its economic and political beliefs. The conflict in Vietnam was not only a small country’s civil war; it was also a contest between superpowers.
The Vietnam War is the second-longest ware fought to date in American history. About 3 million U.S. military personnel served in the war, of which 58,226 were killed. Thirty-three Irvingites were among those who gave their lives.
Disagreements over the course and purpose of the war cleaved deep divisions in American society. The city of Irving underwent the same war-related stresses experienced throughout the country. At the same time, Irving’s economy grew, and the population doubled to 100,000. During the Vietnam period of the late 1960s and early 1970s, major projects such as the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport and the Las Colinas development laid the foundation for Irving’s future expansion.
Irving and Post-Vietnam Wars
In the decades since the end of the Vietnam War, the United States has sent its armed forces into harm’s way in numerous conflicts throughout the world. The causes of the actions have been many and varied, ranging from peacekeeping to famine relief to responses to terrorist attacks.
The U.S. undertook major combat operation in 1990-1991 in the Gulf War, or Operation Desert Storm, where over 500,000 U.S. troops, along with a broad coalition of United Nations forces, pushed the invading Iraqi army out of Kuwait. Following the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., on Sept. 11, 2001, United States military forces deployed to Afghanistan in 2001 and to Iraq in 2003.
Through the years, troops have engaged in smaller, but no less dangerous, combat missions in Grenada, Panama and other troubled spots across the globe. U.S. military forces were used in a complex peacekeeping mission in Bosnia and as part of a U.N. relief mission in Somalia. In these deployments, large and small, Americans lost their lives while wearing their country’s uniform. Several of them were from Irving.
By 2009, Irving had become a city of business opportunity and excellent cultural programs, as well as the home of more than 200,000 residents. Yet, through all of the progress at home, one thing has remained constant: young men and women from Irving continue to fight and die in wars around the globe, and they will answer the call in conflicts as yet unforeseen. Their sacrifices will not be forgotten.