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Smithville honors soldiers with memorial

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On Monday the city of Smithville opened Veterans Memorial Park honoring the contributions of Bastrop County soldiers dating back to the Texas Revolution.

The park was inspired by the deaths of five young soldiers who grew up in the area. They will killed in action of the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The city donated the land for the park, and Smithville Mayor Mark Bunte worked to raise $722,000 to pay for the memorial without any tax money.

"It's an ownership theory, the ownership of having helped build it or help stuff envelopes for fundraisers, everybody did something," Bunte said.

There are more than 200 names featured in the memorial. Bunte hopes that the park will last a long time and teach future generations about the sacrifices those before them have made.

The park also has a splash pad for kids.

A ceremony featuring full military honors along with a roll call of the fallen was planned for Monday morning. Senator John Cornyn and Congressman Michael McCaul both planned to speak at the memorial.

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