Various Pictures of construction And Dedication




Friendswood Veterans Memorial - Images by Kim Christensen

Memorial Day Dedication Speech By Michael Coats

Today, Americans across this nation and citizens located around the world will pause throughout the day to observe Memorial Day. Since its first official observation on 5 May, 1868, when it was called Declaration Day, it has been a day of remembrance for those who sacrificed and died in our nation’s service. And while it was originally dedicated to honor Civil War soldiers, we know it today as a celebration in memory of all who have fought for and defended our right to freedom.

In 1968, this day was set to be the last Monday in May. It is a time to honor and to respect those who fought to protect the liberties that our Founding Fathers proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence and carefully framed in the Constitution of the United States.

In 1776, America’s Founding Fathers declared the intent for this new nation to be independent and free – We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with …rights… (of) Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness… And, to this day whether out of commitment to this Declaration or to their duty to defend these rights from encroachment, our Armed Forces fight to preserve this nation for all who call it home.

From the soldiers who fought bravely during the American Revolution to the men and women of today’s Armed Forces, America’s fighting forces, have responded bravely to this nation’s call to duty. Both on the battlefield and in their assurance of readiness, members of the nation’s military remain bound to their duty. For more than 200 years, America’s Armed Forces have been the surest guarantee that Freedom will continue to ring across this land – From Sea to Shining Sea!

The lives of the men and women who fought in America’s battles and served their country, made significant sacrifices in fighting for the freedom and liberty that we enjoy today. Many have lost their lives while others bravely live with permanent physical conditions. And there are also those whose lives were affected -- the sons, daughters, friends, coworkers and neighbors. The unselfish sacrifices given by our veterans were made because they believed that the assurance that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness required the ultimate service to their nation.

America continues to realize the never ending sense of duty that our Armed forces have as they serve our nation throughout the world. In each instance, without regard to politics or the popular opinion of the moment, men and women undertake the awesome task of fighting for our freedom and protect us from the threat to those freedoms when made by others throughout the world.

To those who died, to all of those who fought, we owe the honor of our respect for delivering to us Freedom upon nothing less than the commitment of their life and the willingness to lose it, for that defense.

Harry Truman once said; “I think I know the American Soldier…... He does not want gratitude or sympathy. He had a job to do. He did not like it. But he did it. And how he did it. Now he wants to come back home and start again the life he loved…..”

And I echo his sentiment. I am proud to be one of the many astronauts who have served in our military. I am proud to be a Vietnam veteran, and I’m even prouder of my father, who was a combat veteran of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. My father in law was also a career military man, and he passed away just last month at age 94. I have a tremendous respect and admiration for everyone who has withstood the rigors and threats of battle, to provide each of us with the opportunity for this wonderful life. I am sure that Mr. Truman’s words describe each of the soldiers who have given their service to America for more than two hundred years. And it is each of us who owe them honor and respect for their service, and their commitment to support their comrades when duty called.

So let us pause on this Memorial day to remember those who fought, for those who gave their life, and for those who willingly stand ready today to do the same, without question, when the defense of freedom calls on them. We owe each of them the highest regard, respect, and honor – and the assurance that their commitment to this Nation’s freedom will never be forgotten.

Our Armed Forces continue to maintain that same standard of commitment and honor that was declared more two centuries ago. On this Memorial Day – we pause to reflect on just what has been given, and sacrificed so freely, so that Freedom could ring across this great land.

Thank you for the opportunity to be with you here today.