By LIBBY CLUETT
Mineral Wells Mayor Mike Allen has proclaimed Saturday, March 23, as Medal of Honor Day – the same day the Fort Wolters Gate Committee will dedicate the new memorial at Fort Wolters Historical Park.
The event begins shortly before 10 a.m. when the American Legion Riders and other motorcyclists surround the park. The park is located at the “Y” north of the historical Fort Wolters gateway entrance.
The small park took shape as early as the World War II era when it was called “Washington Park.”
After Fort Wolters closed the only remaining items in the park were a flagpole and one small piece of cement where a statue called "Salute" once stood.
In 1999, a group, called the Fort Wolters State Marker Committee, asked the City of Mineral Wells to name the park Fort Wolters Historical Park. The group erected a Texas Historical Commission marker. For 13 years the park existed unchanged, with just the state historical marker.
But in 2012, the Fort Wolters Gate Committee selected the site for a memorial to recognize Medal of Honor recipients who trained either at Camp Wolters during WWII, or Fort Wolters during the Vietnam War. There are currently 13 known Medal of Honor recipients who came through Mineral Wells for military training.
On March 23, 2012, the committee dedicated the park, designating it as the site for a future Medal of Honor memorial, but the group was uncertain as to when the memorial would take shape.
Generous donors and several hard-working people came together and the memorial began its formation last November, according to committee co-chair Mary Creighton.
“With the knowledge that National Medal of Honor day is March 25, it was decided to go with the March 23 date for this dedication,” she said of the forthcoming memorial dedication ceremony. “This will be on a Saturday and we hope the public can come out to see what has been done to the park and to see the wonderful memorial that has been built.”