Governor Greg Abbott presented the newly authorized Texas Purple Heart to Fort Hood soldiers who survived the 2009 terrorist attack and to the families who lost their loved ones on that tragic day. A new memorial to honor all of those who were affected on that day was also unveiled.
“America is the brightest beacon of freedom in the world because of the men and women who put sacrifice above self,” Governor Abbott said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “Today is a day to honor that sacrifice, mourn their loss, and celebrate their dedication and commitment to the defense of our nation.”
“The core message is one of thanks for those who put their lives on the lines to make America the strongest, freest country in the world,” Abbott continued.
Abbott traveled to Killeen, Texas, to present the awards to the victims of the November 5, 2009 terrorist attack on Fort Hood. The attack was carried out by Army Major Nidal Hasan who now sits on death row for his crimes. The attack was initially classified by President Barack Obama as “workplace violence.” After several years, it was eventually reclassified as an act of terrorism. On April 10, 2015, the U.S. Army Purple Heart was presented to 47 wounded soldiers, civilian workers and the families of those who died in the attack, Breitbart Texas reported.
During the 84th Session of the Texas Legislature in 2015, State Representative Tony Dale (R-Cedar Park) authored HB 115. The bill number was chosen to reflect the November 5th date of the Fort Hood terrorist attack. The bill was popularly passed by both chambers of the state’s legislature and signed into law by Governor Abbott. “As a 1st CAV Army veteran from Fort Hood I am very pleased the legislature joined me in this effort,” Dale posted on Facebook..
“Last session I authored HB115 to award the Texas Purple Heart to the terror attack victims,” Rep. Dale said in a post on Facebook. “It was a very moving ceremony and a manifestation of the esteem in which the State of Texas holds these soldiers and their families.”
Dale served in the 2nd Battalion, 8th Calvary at Fort Hood. He said he spoke with a widow and the father of one of the victims who also served in that unit. Dale said the ceremony was “very moving.”
Also on Facebook, Lisa Birkman posted that “Mary Dale (Rep. Dale’s wife) and I both teared up when the sculptor spoke of one of the victims love for Scooby-Doo that he incorporated into the memorial to remember her & her unborn baby!”
Waco area sculpter Troy Kelley created the memorial to the victims and survivors that was unveiled this week. He spent six years creating the memorial, KWTX reported. Kelley created individual bronze castings as tributes to each of the thirteen victims of the shooting.
The Texas governor concluded his remarks saying, “I am proud to join in the remembrance of the brave individuals we recognize today and readily renew my commitment to the Lone Star State to work tirelessly to ensure our safety from those who seek to do us harm.”