New mural will honor Macario Garcia, local Latino war hero

Rendering of mural by artist Mez Deta / courtesy of UP Art Studio

After three years of planning and community advocacy, painting begins today on a mural in tribute to Staff Sergeant Macario Garcia – to share with new generations the story of the first Mexican immigrant to receive the Medal of Honor, the United States’ highest military award.

Born in Villa de Castaños, Mexico, Garcia immigrated with his family to Texas in 1923. Settling in Sugar Land, he and his parents worked as cotton farmers.

When World War II broke out, Garcia joined the US Army in 1942. His acts of bravery during the Allied invasion of Normandy and during combat against German troops as an acting squad leader in his platoon led to his receiving the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, as well as the medal of Mérito Militar (the Mexican equivalent to the Medal of Honor). President Harry S. Truman awarded Garcia the Medal of Honor at the White House in 1945.

Artist Mez Data, known for his realistic portraits with aerosol paint, will create the mural on the exterior of Houston Fire Department Station #20 in East End’s Magnolia Park (6902 Navigation Blvd. at Macario Garcia Dr.). Luis C. Gonzales, a local veteran of the neighborhood, will assist the artist.

A project of UP Art Studio, known for its Mini Murals and other public art projects, the Macario Garcia mural will be unveiled in a ceremony on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 3 – 4:30pm.

The mural is a proposed gift to the City of Houston and will become part of its Civic Art Collection, upon official acceptance by Houston City Council.

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