Hundreds of Boerne residents and veterans filled Veterans Plaza on Monday, March 6, 2023, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Graham Monument.
At the end of World War I, local leaders decided to erect a monument to memorialize the young Kendall County men who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country in the “War to End All Wars.” On March 6, 1923, an estimated 2,000 people gathered in the park for the unveiling of the stone.
Eugene Goldbeck, then considered the “unofficial photographer of America’s military,” created an amazing panoramic photograph commemorating the day.
(Pictured above is the original panoramic from 1923. Click to see full resolution version.)
Exactly one century later, to the day, the City recreated this iconic photograph. Even more incredible, Eddie Goldbeck Jr., the grandson of the original photographer captured the new panoramic.
(Pictured above is the recreated panoramic from 2023. Click to see full resolution version.)
After the recreation of the panoramic, those in attendance gathered for the singing of the National Anthem, a prayer, and brief remarks from Mayor Tim Handren.
Lone Star Legacy Park
Also during the ceremony, recognition was given to the recent designation of Veterans Plaza as a Lone Star Legacy Park by the Texas Recreation and Park Society.
A Lone Star Legacy Park is a park that holds special prominence in the local community and the state of Texas. These parks have endured the test of time and have become iconic to those who have visited, played, and rested on their grounds. A designation as a Lone Star Legacy Park is among the highest honors that can be bestowed on a park. Veterans Plaza will be one of only 71 Lone Star Legacy Parks throughout our great state. This honor was made possible through the collaboration of City staff from Parks and Recreation, Special Projects, and the Patrick Heath Public Library.
Veterans Plaza is one of four original park sites established in the early days of the community. For the majority of the next 100 years, the park remained relatively the same. Over the years, plaques were added to recognize those who were killed in combat during World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
Then in 2014, Veterans Plaza underwent the biggest renovation since its founding. Additional plaques were added recognizing those killed in combat during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. The Walk of Honor was also installed at this time. It is a wide walkway from Main Street to the center of the park lined with bricks honoring the names of family and friends that served or are still serving in the military.
Watch the video below to learn more about Veterans Plaza and see highlights from the 100th anniversary event.