A special celebration in honor of women veterans was held Saturday, June 10, 2023, at Veterans Plaza — just ahead of Women Veterans Day.
A highlight of the ceremony was the unveiling of “Athena’s Prayer,” a bronze monument created by world-renowned artist James N. Muir and recently acquired by the City of Boerne in honor of women veterans. The monument depicts a female soldier just back from battle, helmet protecting her heart, as she gazes skyward.
“This is a wonderful addition to our Veterans Plaza,” Director of Special Project Paul Barwick said. “The statue pays tribute and recognizes the role women have played in our armed forces and is near and dear to many in our community.”
Barwick was also instrumental in leading the fundraising efforts for the new monument.
Muir’s inspiration for the monument was Army veteran Lt. Tiffany Kravec, who served nine years and two tours in Iraq. During a trip to Washington, D.C., Kravec’s four daughters wondered why there were no female soldiers at war monuments.
This planted a seed for Kravec, whose research led her to Muir, as she felt he was one of the best at capturing emotion in his work. Only three casts exist of “Athena’s Prayer”; the one at Veterans Plaza is the last of the edition and the only one installed in Texas. This important monument will honor women who serve in our armed forces for decades to come.
Master of Ceremonies was Dr. Betty Moseley Brown, USMC, the American Legion Post 313, and guest speakers included Major General Dixie A. Morrow (USAF, Ret) and CWO5 and Gold Star Mother, Candy Martin (USA, Ret).
The ceremony concluded with the playing of Taps and a benediction from MSG Paula Wells (USA, Ret), VFW Post 688.
People can visit the statue and other memorials at Veterans Plaza seven days a week. The park is located at 801 S. Main Street, with street parking available on the north, east, and south ends of the plaza.
About Women Veterans Day
It wasn’t until 2018 that Women Veterans Day was recognized, and June 12 was designated to honor women who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
About Athena’s Prayer
"Athena" is the classical goddess, not only of war but also of wisdom. A modern Athena, just returned from battle with the enemies of America, helmet held protecting her heart, looks heavenward in prayer. She symbolizes the feminine “prudence” to war. It begs the enigmatic question of “what is her prayer?” The answer is to be supplied by the viewer as a catharsis for helping to heal the individual and very personal “wounds of war.” This is a tribute to all the women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces throughout our nation’s history. The acquisition was made possible through the collaboration of the City of Boerne, James N. Muir, Johny Rosa of Texas Treasures Fine Arts, and private donors.
About Veterans Plaza
The installation of Athena’s Prayer comes on the heels of the 100th anniversary celebration of Boerne’s Veterans Plaza monument and the park’s designation as a Lone Star Legacy Park in March 2023 by the Texas Recreation and Parks Society (TRAPS). Veterans Plaza is one of the original four park sites in Boerne. The park is filled with a variety of trees, sidewalks, and a Walk of Honor that leads to the center of the park, where the Veterans War Memorial is located. The park is the site of annual gatherings for Veterans Day and Memorial Day ceremonies. As part of a 2023 update and celebration, the park now features a new interpretive sign with images and timeline that illustrates our local military heritage while honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
(Images courtesy J.Repak Productions)