During next week’s City Council meeting (May 14th) council members are scheduled to consider a new memorial honoring the Men of Company E.
The memorial, which is proposed for the Downtown Arts District, will be a companion piece to the original that is located at the Acosta Sports Center, 4321 Delta.
“The Men of Company E is a story of heroism the people of El Paso need to know about. Having a memorial located within Downtown El Paso will help raise the profile of these men and honor their contributions and sacrifices during World War II,” said Dan Olivas, Advocacy Chair for Community en Acción.
The original Men of Company E Memorial by El Paso artist Julio Sanchez de Alba has been located at the World War II Veterans of Company E Park at 4321 Delta since its dedication in 2008.
This memorial is a bronze relief monument honoring the a group of young Mexican-American soldiers from the City of El Paso who were sent to southern Italy on a tragic mission to cross the Rapido River on the night of January 21, 1944.
Many of the Men of Company E, 141st Infantry, 36th Division, whom many now refer to as the Fallen Sons of El Paso, were killed in the attempt to cross a waterway saturated with barbed wire, mines, and artillery.
For years, many community members felt the original piece’s location cut it off from the ability to reach more people. Community en Acción worked with the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department to site the companion memorial downtown in a location that would provide opportunities to tell the story of these men.
“During last budget process, Council directed staff to find funding to create a companion piece honoring the Men of Company E in a high-profile, high traffic location that will allow more people to learn about their heroism,” said Tracey Jerome, Managing Director, Museums and Cultural Affairs, Libraries and Tourism.
The Downtown Arts District currently draws 2.2 million El Pasoans and visitors annually and the site will present unique opportunities for programmatic connections with multiple sites.
Additionally, the close proximity of the Mexican American Cultural Center will provide additional programming opportunities to educate about the service of these brave El Pasoans.