Hidden History: Paying Tribute to a Waco War Hero

Local

Right now, work is being done in Waco to honor the first African-American awarded the Navy Cross.

When Japanese forces attacked Pearl Harbor, Doris Miller jumped into the fight and the history books.

Last year, a sculpture of Doris Miller was unveiled at Bledsoe Miller Park.

It is the first piece of his memorial to be completed.

Even sculptor Eddie Dixon was amazed at the silent strength of the piece when he first saw it completed.

“Yeah, it is important that I captured that because he was a hero, and I call myself a sculptor of unsung heroes.” Dixon said.

Doris Miller was only a cook on board the U.S.S. West Virginia when nine torpedoes hit the ship in Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941.

Instead of following orders, Miller took up arms, firing back at the enemy.

Now his legacy will live on with the completion of the memorial, which will serve as a unifying symbol for the Waco community.

“It’s the kind of story we need young folks to understand. Going beyond what’s expected of you really is a great thing to do,” said Doreen Ravenscroft, President of the Cultural Arts of Waco.

The foundation for the memorial is about set, and the shape of the memorial is coming to life.

“We hope it will become part of Waco’s fabric,” said Ravenscroft.

Miller died at the age of 19, in the Battle of Makin Island, in 1943.

That was just two years after his heroic actions at Pearl Harbor.

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