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Honor bound: A memorial rising for border patrol heroes

Alyson Rodriguez
The memorial has names that date back to 1919 to 2021 from El Paso, Fort Hancock, Truth or Consequence, Lordsburg, Ysleta and Deming.

The El Paso border patrol sector unveiled a new memorial, Jan. 24, honoring border patrol personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice. The new memorial is at the agency’s headquarters at 8901 Montana Avenue.    

The bronze memorial honors the 27 border patrol agents and a mechanic who died on the job. A sculpture of an agent’s hat placed over boots and a holster is at the center. Plaques surround the sculpture engraved with the names of border patrol agents as remember the fallen is written on a sign in the shape of Texas above it. 

At the unveiling ceremony there were 75 people in attendance, those in attendance included fellow border patrol agents and families of the agents who lost their lives. One of the loved ones was Inez Vasquez.  

Vasquez lost her husband Freddie Vasquez, who served 19 years as a border patrol agent. He was a part of the canine unit and passed away in the line of duty in May 2021. 

“All of the memorials are just so meaningful, to see his name forever engraved in history,” Vasquez said. “This particular memorial means a lot because this is actually the station where he came into the border patrol. This is where he started.” 

The memorial has names that date back to 1919 to 2021 from El Paso, Fort Hancock, Truth or Consequence, Lordsburg, Ysleta and Deming.  

The names of the fallen include; Clarence Childress, Charles Gardiner, Frank Clark, Thad Pippen, Benjamin T. Hill, Ivan Scotten, Doyne C. Melton, Bert Walthall, Ralph Ramsey, Michael T. Box, Richard Clarke, James Kirchner, Edwin Curtis Dennis, Lee Bounds, Oscar Torres, Louis D. Stahl, Xavier Magdaleno, Rene B. Garza, Ramon Navarez, David J. Tourscher, Leopoldo Cavazos Jr., David Gomez, Isaac Morales, Johan Mordan, Freddie Vasquez, Edgardo Acosta-Feliciano and Salvador Martinez Jr. 

The President of the Border Patrol union in El Paso, Carlos Valles, has been an agent for 22 years. He was one of the masterminds who started the initiative to build a border patrol memorial honoring those who have died in the line of duty.  

The planning of this memorial started last year in the spring. Valles says he wanted this memorial to be a place to reflect and to think about those who protected our borders with their lives. 

“Sadly, I got to work with some of those names on that wall here,” Valles said. “This is our history, this is the history of El Paso’s sector. It’s a good place to reflect and to get to know some people that gave their life for this country.”  

Inside the El Paso sector headquarters lobby, an interactive display is planned where visitors can learn more about each agent and hear the story of their lives. The interactive display and memorial serve as a lasting tribute to the unwavering dedication and sacrifice of the border patrol agents, forever a reminder of their courage and commitment to their profession. 

Alyson Rodriguez is a contributor may be reached at [email protected]; @alyson_rod1127 on X. 

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About the Contributor
Alyson Rodriguez
Alyson Rodriguez, Contributor/Writer

Alyson Rodriguez is a senior at the University of Texas at El Paso, currently majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in leadership studies. She is a contributor at The Prospector. She joined The Prospector in the Fall of 2020 as a contributor for the Arts and Culture section and has now written articles for the sports and news section and has done podcast segments as well. After discovering her passion for journalism through The Prospector, Alyson has gone to intern at El Paso Matters, NPR Next Generation Texas Newsroom and the Texas Standard. 

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