When the City of Belton began reconstruction on Central Avenue, it was the perfect opportunity for the Belton Area Chamber of Commerce to create the Patriot Way Brick Walk to honor those in the military.
“This is probably one of the neatest projects we’ve done here at the Chamber,” Belton Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Mark Arrazola, said.
At first glance it looks like any other brick pathway through a city’s downtown historic district, but up close that particular side walk in Belton represents something much more meaningful.
“We pulled a whole group of people together to kind of form a task force on what it is we should do to honor the military in our area because we are so close to Fort Hood. We have such a great partnership with them and what came out of it was doing the Patriot Way Brick Walk,” Arrazola said.
The project started in 2009 and now over 600 bricks are engraved along Central Avenue with soldiers both past and present that served in the United States Armed Forces. It stands as a permanent reminder and a display of honor.
“The history of the people who are out there is amazing. To know we had one of the Navajo Wind Talkers (Henry T. Waskow) is like – wow! That’s really cool,” Arrazola said.
Arrazola said the Chamber is looking to engrave more of these bricks and there is plenty of space along Central Avenue.
“We put bricks in the ground twice a year, right before Veteran’s Day and right before the Fourth of July,” Arrazola said.
Arrazola said it puts Belton on the map and gives visitors something special to see.
That’s exactly why restaurant owner Narunya Estrada opened her Thai restaurant along the avenue. She said Belton is a historical town. Her husband is a veteran and was a U.S. Marine for 30 years. Estrada said right outside is a daily reminder.
“I think the Brick Walk has made Belton more meaningful.”
Each personalized brick is $60 or two bricks are $100.
To download an order form visit: http://www.beltonchamber.com/living-in-belton/patriot-way-brick-walk-project/
Interactive Map: http://www.beltonchamber.com/patriotwaybrickwalk/