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Thursday, May 29, 1997

Monahan's Well

By Jerry Curry

Ward County needs a War Memorial now.
Let's say that again.
Ward County needs a War Memorial that is visible to the citizenry and
which can be readily identified. It needs this War Memorial now.
It approaches appalling those citizens of Ward County who have given
their lives in the defense of this nation's ideals of freedom do not
have a special place that honors them.
Unreliable sources say this has not always been so. There is a War
Memorial in Ward County out by the cemetery somewhere. If so, I couldn't
find it and I did find the Pecos River one weekend after everyone else
had given up in disgust, saying the Pecos river was only a legend. Well
I found the river right where it was supposed to be marking the
boundary between Ward and Pecos counties. I tasted its salty waters and
watched the minnows scurry in schools. I took pictures of it to prove
it existed.
And when I told the tale of my adventure, one in my party threatened to
become nauseous if I said any more about drinking from a river that in
its era (before they built all those dams up North and stole our water)
had been the economic base of a West Texas economy built on grapes,
melons and alfalfa as well as cattle and other livestock. I often have
wondered why some Texican has not gotten upset about those dams upriver
on the Pecos, dams which have meant only an adventurous few have seen
the Pecos South of Grandfalls. Yes, there used to be a real grand falls
for which Grandfalls was named but the Pecos is no longer mighty and the
falls no longer roil.
The purpose of those comments is that it is possible to build a real
memorial to our fallen warriors if I can find the Pecos River.
This War Memorial should be built where war memorials are supposed to be
somewhere in the vicinity of the Ward County Courthouse in Monahans. If
there is one there and I have missed it, I am not the only one. The
commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Monahans didn't know
where it was either when I asked him a couple of weeks ago. VFW members
should know if one exists. They are the ones who held the flag raising
ceremonies on Monday at the Courthouse at 10 a.m. These people are real
heroes who came home. It is time to honor those heroes who didn't.
This Ward County war memorial which does not now exist, not even in
legend, should have inscribed upon it the Ward County citizens who gave
their lives in the War for Texas Independence, the Civil War, the Indian
Wars, (and this should also include the names of every slain Apache and
Comanche we can identify), the Spanish-American War, World War I, World
War II, Korea, Vietnam, Panama and the Persian Gulf. We also might well
add those from Ward County who died in various firefights and riots in
sundry places about Earth upholding the honor of their nation and their
people. Not all of these are in the history books. In fact, most of them
are not in the history books. My father, a U.S. Marine at the time,
spent a year or two or three down in Nicaragua in the 1930s. That was a
serious fight which I cannot say about some other little spats in which
our fighting men have been involved. Sure I have a personal thing in
building a war memorial in Ward County. My family has sent a lot of
people off to fight. We've been lucky. So far my family and the family
of my in-laws have not been killed in these wars. We've been hit a
couple of times but not killed, not yet. My oldest boy's in the Corps
So here's the deal.
Let's start talking about this. Let's build a war memorial to people who
should be remembered every day of their lives but who aren't. It's the
right thing to do.

Copyright 1997 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314

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