Community honors local war hero Freddy Gonzalez
Sunday marks the 50th anniversary since the death of local war hero Freddy Gonzalez.
Hundreds gathered at Freddy Gonzalez Elementary in Edinburg on Friday to honor his legacy, including the men who served with Gonzalez in the Battle of Hue during the Vietnam War.
Veterans say they remember Gonzalez for his leadership.
"I respect him because once he made the decision, there was no changing his mind and there was no argument," said Vietnam War Veteran Jack Rushing. "He knew what to do, when to do it and he got it done."
"I first met him in July of 1967. I was a First Platoon Sergeant,” said Vietnam War Veteran Paul Garcia. “He was in the 3rd Platoon and I was so impressed with Freddy and his leadership qualities."
Gonzalez played a big role in overcoming enemy fire from the North Vietnamese during the Battle of Hue. Gonzalez was known for saving a lot of his men by taking action as a leader and taking out enemy positions on the way into the city. Unfortunately, Gonzalez was killed in the city of Hue.
Although it has been 50 years since Gonzalez has passed, his mother, Dolia still finds ways to keep his memory alive.
“I still miss him. I miss cooking for him all that stuff," said Dolia Gonzalez. "I wish he was here. So, just keep on going that's all I can say.”
Students of Gonzalez’s namesake school have also found ways to honor his legacy.
"We drew pictures to honor him and we wrote how much we believe that he's still here, even if he’s not really here,” said Freddy Gonzalez Elementary student Lauren Garcia.
Other students had a few words for him.
"I would say, 'Thank you for protecting our country and Texas' and say that he's a wonderful man,” said Freddy Gonzalez Elementary student Devin Caballero.