Each year on Memorial Day weekend, Jesse Porras and the Rolling Thunder, helps organize an exhibit and program to honor West Texas veterans who have died.
This year’s display will return with a program as part of this weekend’s Memorial Day observance at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Dillard’s Plaza at Music City Mall on 4101 E. 42nd St.
The display is a wall with pictures of the slain men and women from West Texas who have served in different wars.
Those wars include Iraq, Dessert Storm, Middle East Crisis, World War II, Vietnam and the Korean War.
Porras, who himself served in the Marines from 1974-81, says the goal each year is to remind people that Memorial Day is to remember those who died.
“Memorial weekend consists of remembering all the women and men who gave their lives to keep us safe,” Porras said. “We’re doing this to honor all of these soldiers. As a veteran, I want to give back to my fellow brothers and sisters that died in a time of war. I do this every year and I’m glad for the time to present this at the mall.”
The program will take place at 2 p.m.
“The program will consist of trying to educate people what the whole thing is about with remembering those who have fought and a lot of people have confused themselves about Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Some people think Memorial Day is the same as Veterans Day. Veterans day is about veterans past and present and Memorial Day is for all the soldiers who sacrificed their lives in a time of war.”
He recalls his time in the Marine Corps of being there to protect his fellow soldiers during every mission and how they did the same for him. That has given him a reason to help put this exhibit and program on each year as a way to remember those who died.
“When I was in the Marine Corps and I looked to my right and my left, I know that when I go forward to do a mission, I knew that this guy is protecting me as much as I’m protecting him. I’m going to protect the guy to my right and to my left because in a time of passion, we’re not looking for who’s who or who’s race someone is or anything like that. We’re all brothers. We know that when we go out there, we have to depend on each other. … We’re a team. We’re out there to do a mission and that’s what we set out to accomplish for our country.”
To donate, volunteer or for more information, call Jesse Porras at 432-770-9423.
If you go
>> What: Fallen Heroes Exhibit and Program.
>> When: 2-3 p.m. Saturday.
>> Where: Dillard’s Plaza Area at Music City Mall.