Memorial day memorial

Let’s not forget to stop for a moment at 3pm and reflect on the lives of those who have been lost in a war, conflict or defense of the United States.

You run across many special people in your lifetime. Diana Lopez Axthelm is one of them. I first met her through the Las Comadres para las Americas network (I belong to the Laredo network – fyi, our next comadrazo is coming up June 18th) when my brother was stranded too far away for me to do anything. Diana’s selflessness doesn’t just extend to her “comadres” but to families of those who have died in the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan with her “Remember Me” pillows. I had first heard of her kindness through a Dallas news clip sent out through the Las Comadres email listserv and today I was reminded by the Wise Latinas Linked blog.

Let’s not forget that we also have a Memorial Park near the downtown area. This story ran in the Dallas Morning News years ago and talked about the dedication on Memorial Day of the tall U.S. flag that we see at Compass Bank (formerly Laredo National Bank). Although the story mentions a flag park… hmmm… maybe that is something that Compass Bank will finish? For today, we do have a great tribute to those who have fallen. (FYI – I do have plenty of pictures of it, just cant find them – will insert a photo later today)

Laredo: Flagpole touted as tallest in U.S. to be dedicated today


By BRENDA RODRIGUEZ / The Dallas Morning News

It is slightly taller than the Statue of Liberty and is destined to become a landmark.

Not far from the Rio Grande, a 308-foot flagpole flying a 50-by-100-foot United States flag is to be dedicated in Laredo on Memorial Day in honor of the men and women who have served this country.

“This is the Laredo National Bank’s way of saying thank you to all members of the U.S. military, be they active duty, retired, veterans, National Guard, reserve,” said Gary Jacobs, president and chief executive officer of Laredo National Bank, which paid for the project.

The effort also includes a flag park that will have flags representing every country, with the U.S. flag as its centerpiece. The park is being built.

Although Mr. Jacobs wouldn’t say how much the flagpole project cost, a published report put the price at $300,000.

The bank was inspired to pursue the project after Laredo’s sister city of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, erected a flagpole and Mexican flag in 1998. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the project took on new meaning.

The Laredo flag project in the parking lot of the bank’s motor branch less than two blocks north of the Lincoln Juárez International Bridge is expected to boast the tallest stand-alone flagpole in the United States. The flagpole was engineered and manufactured by Fort Worth-based Flags USA.

“If you’re coming from Monterrey [Mexico] to Laredo you’ll see both flags,” Mr. Jacobs said. “And, if you’re coming from [Interstate 35] south on the freeway toward Nuevo Laredo, you’ll see both flags.”

The flag’s dedication couldn’t have come at a better time in light of Sept. 11, said Jesus E. Cantu, the Webb County veterans service officer. There are about 8,800 veterans living in the county.

A couple of weeks ago, Mr. Cantu said, he could see the flag flying from his office during a test. He called it majestic.

“Any veteran who goes away from this country and comes back, that’s the first thing you look for when you come back to American soil,” Mr. Cantu said. “You know you’re home when you see that flag.”


About Que Fregados

Que Fregados is a quirky look at little things that strike us funny in Laredo and the unique Latino culture. Suggestions and comments are welcome. You can also email to
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3 Responses to Memorial day memorial

  1. rick78 says:


  2. ___unfortunately, those (28 laredoans died in Viet-nan) who did make the ultimate sacrifice are no longer here to be appreciated, but i am sure the planned “Vietnam Veteran’s Return festivities could be augmented by your presence at the “Welcome Back” parade, (forty years too late)

  3. rick78 says:

    Better late than never . The 23 years I lived in Laredo this day and Veterans day were not significantly celebrated . Here in the Houston area these two days are heavily celebrated with numerous events throughout the area .

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