There’s another source of pride and patriotism in the Rio Grande Valley to look upon, inspired by the service of local servicemen, and it’s hard to miss.
The city of Edinburg unveiled a new mural on Veterans Day that’s dedicated to the city’s hometown heroes, and quite large.
The mural, located at the Edinburg Fire Station No. 3 on 1221 E. University Drive, depicts an American flag with the silhouette of a saluting soldier. At the bottom it reads “Hometown of Heroes,” a nod to the distinction bestowed upon the city by former Gov. Rick Perry.
“I think it was a homerun for the community,” Mayor Richard Molina said about the mural. “We had veterans that were there at the event, and they all loved it. It was very special.”
Molina, himself a U.S. Army veteran, said the city decided to create a mural dedicated to veterans since they would be unable — due to the pandemic — to celebrate with a parade like they normally would.
“This year we weren’t able to do that because of COVID,” Molina said. “We wanted to do something, to kind of show that recognition that we do every year for our veterans.”
The city has numerous murals throughout town that’s dedicated to its hometown heroes. Molina said that they decided to continue to honor them, but on a larger scale.
“We said we’re going to do this, and make it bigger,” Molina said. “We want something more grand.”
“I’m a veteran too. I served in the Army, so to me it’s a homerun,” he continued. “The veterans were touched, I was touched — it’s just something special. The good thing about it is that it’s going to be there for a long time — for decades to come.”
The mural has been in the works for a little over three months. For the artist who painted it, the work of art was more of a labor of love.
“I created that mural for the hometown heroes, which are also veterans and pretty much all the men and women in uniform — the fire department and the police department — they’re all heroes,” the artist said.
The artist, who also painted portraits of fallen heroes for the Dustin Michael Sekula Memorial Library two years ago, has chosen to remain anonymous.
“That project was with 100% anonymity, and I kind of wanted this one to be the same way because I’ve been painting a long time and these types of projects are very special and dear to me,” the artist said. “I feel like these paintings and these murals, the focus should be on them. All of the recognition should be for them, not for me. It’s not about me.”
The artist also said that the sole intention was to honor the city’s hometown heroes and all-encompassing for those in uniform.
“I am humbled, honored and grateful to have been able to give back to the community through my art,” the artist said. “My deepest respect and gratitude goes to all of the patriotic men and women who have served and sacrificed for our freedom and protection. I deserve no recognition. The ones who deserve recognition are the hometown heroes which include veterans, firefighters, and law enforcement.
“They are all my heroes. May God bless them all, and may God bless America.”