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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Civil War statues to join local memorials in Veterans Park

The+statue+will+depict+both+a+Confederate+soldier+and+a+Union+soldier+going+their+separate+ways+to+symbolize+their+return+home+after+the+war.
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The statue will depict both a Confederate soldier and a Union soldier going their separate ways to symbolize their return home after the war.

A statue depicting the end of the Civil War for opposing sides will join the ranks of American war memorials in Brazos Valley Thursday.

The statues are brought to the community by the Brazos Valley Veterans Memorial. The newest memorial will depict two soldiers going their separate ways — a Confederate soldier going south and a Union soldier headed north, symbolizing the return home after the war, said Steve Beachy, project leader and BVVM board member. 

“We wanted to focus on the end of the war,” Beachy said. “[The soldiers] that survived had to go home and rebuild their lives and then help rebuild the country.”

The newest addition is part of the half-mile trail on the Lynn Stuart Pathway at Veterans Park lined with memorials dedicated to conflicts the United States has faced over the last 200 years. Beachy said these additions to Veterans Park are a continuation of works done by citizens of the Bryan-College Station area. The statues to be unveiled Thursday were created by local artist J. Payne Lara.

At the unveiling of the new memorial, BVVM will also host T. Michael Parrish, an American history professor from Baylor, to speak about those who fought in the war, including “citizen soldiers.”

“The topic I will talk about at the memorial focuses on the citizens,” Parrish said. “Citizens who volunteered, were encouraged to volunteer or even drafted to serve and fight in the Civil War and how it affected the history of our nation.”

Although the memorial is dedicated to a conflict from more than 100 years ago, Parrish said it is still relevant to the United States today. 

“I hope that students will attend, and I hope they will gain a better understanding and appreciation for veterans,” Parrish said. “And I hope that they understand why the Veterans Association unveils Civil War memorial veterans that need to be honored — not only living veterans, but veterans who are passing away and have long since left the scene.”

Beachy said BVVM has more projects in mind for the coming year.

“This memorial isn’t our last piece, we’re looking to do a World War I memorial soon,” Beachy said. “What we’re hoping to also do is to get students, specifically the Class of 2018 since they’re going to be around longer, to possibly consider making this their sponsored project because that would be a wonderful thing to see A&M get involved in that way.” 

The memorial will be unveiled at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at Veterans Park. The event is free and open to the public.

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