The Hays County Veterans Memorial honors all current and former Veterans.
The location of the Veterans Memorial, on the corner of Hopkins Street and Riverside drive, is on the entry to the past of the Downtown Historical District, the present of a San Marcos River Park and the future, represented by the Texas State University Campus, which lies in the hills adjacent to the memorial. Being on the San Marcos River and Ranch Road 12, it serves as a gateway to the City of San Marcos, Hays County and the Texas Hill Country.
It is easily accessible and highly visible; yet, it has its own small, unique corner in San Marcos and the Texas Hill Country. The footbridge across the San Marcos River links it to the River Park and the Charles S Cock Home of the past. It is separate, but still a part of the everyday life and traditions of the City, University and Hill County.
The location and setting for the memorial is significant. The theme says we remember your sacrifice, honor and service and thank you for my gift of freedom day. Your example lends direction and meaning to my life.
The idea to construct a veteran's memorial in Hays County was given life by Richard V. Cruz, a Vietnam veteran, along with Toby Tobias, a WWII veteran, in 1997. In 1998, the City of San Marcos set aside the land. In May of 2000, Texas State University's Professor Nancy Granato was asked to help provide a design for the memorial. Nancy challenged her interior design class to come up with a design that would add to the memorial presented to her class.
At the initial meeting of the Hays County Veterans Memorial Committee and Nancy's design class, one of the questions the students asked was what kind of memorial the committee had in mind. They were told it did not matter what the committee desired. The paramount question was how today's generation wished to remember their veterans.
The design, concept and theme is today's generation of young American's idea of how to thank a past generation of young Americans; and send a message to future generations of young Americans. This design, concept and theme are a departure from traditional veteran's memorials; however, it is fitting and profound. Richard, Toby, Nancy and her students are due our appreciation and thanks.