GAINESVILLE, TX -- True to the patriotism they're known for, the city of Gainesville is now finding another way to honor veterans.
Gainesville is already nationally recognized as the most patriotic city in America. They're the Medal of Honor host city - and now they're adding a park to recognize those who given so much to our country.
Gainesville is the only city in the country to host Medal of Honor recipients. Each spring, veterans who have received the highest honor of service visit Gainesville to be recognized.
"I think patriotism should never be out of season," Don Pettigrew said.
Now, the city's patriotism will soon be seen year-round. Situated right off I-35 is this piece of land, soon to become Medal of Honor Park.
"We thought it would be great because we can share what we do here, patriotism, with the rest of the world. Anybody driving up and down I-35 will be able to stop and see this monument, this park," city manager Barry Sullivan said.
Don Pettigrew, with the Medal of Honor Host City Program, says the park will cost about $400,000, all funded by donations.
Right now there are nearly 3,500 Medal of Honor recipients, and each of their names will be placed on a brick that will make up the entire walkway of the park. Another highlight of the park will be a life-size bald eagle clutching three replica medals in its talons.
"I hope this will be a place that anyone who is a veteran can come and sit down and realize that what they did mattered," Pettigrew said.
There will be kiosks throughout the park with educational information about the Medal of Honor, and some of the veterans who have earned the award.
"It signifies what's important in this community," Sullivan said.
"It's a sign that we want to carry patriotism into the future of this country. Not something that's in the past," Pettigrew said.
Medal recipients will participate in the park's official groundbreaking on April 12. Donations are still needed. If you'd like to make a tax deductible donation, contact the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce at 940-665-2831 or we've posted a link below.