Graham veteran memorial unveiled on Independence Day

New Century Veterans Memorial

GRAHAM, Tx (RNN Texoma) - This 4th of July, it was about more than celebrating freedom.

The Young County New Century Veterans Memorial has a new home on the Graham Square.

"It felt like final mission complete," said Knox Bishop, a member of the Young County New Century Veterans board. "We spent over two years working behind the scenes to make it happen."

Dan De La Cruz has served our country in Iraq and Kosovo.

Wednesday, he got to see his name on the memorial for the first time.

"My generation of veterans we were inspired by the veterans that came before us to serve," said De La Cruz.  "Their example and leadership is what kind of pushed the younger generation to do this."

The wall has names of veterans in Young County who have served after the year 2000.

"It brings the memorial into the present," said Major Chase Evans, the keynote speaker for the event.  "We honor the soldiers that honor the sacrifices before, but there is a whole new generation stepped forward to take the baton."

Major Spears is no stranger to Graham.

"I remember living here as a young man as a teenager and now on the military side," said Spears.  "Coming back and seeing that there is also a veterans connection to Graham feels absolutely wonderful to see the work that the community has done to honor veterans."

The memorial sits right next to the one filled with more than 5,000 names of those who served prior to the 21st century.

Right now there is space on the new wall for more names and will stand on the square for centuries to come.

"As guys and gals are in high school now they will join soon and go on it at some point," said De La Cruz.  "My kids' classmates will be on that wall at some point so we have got plenty of room to add their name on the new century."

There is still room on the wall for more names of veterans from Young County.

For more information on how to add your name, click here.

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