WACO, Texas — Thousands of dollars are still needed to complete the memorial for Waco-born World War II hero, Doris Miller-- $76,000 is needed, according to Doreen Ravenscroft from the Waco Cultural Arts Fest.
The Doris Miller Memorial started as a $2.4 million project.
The navy veteran’s 100th birthday is October 12, and a special celebration is being planned to help raise some of the money.
Doris Miller was born and raised in Waco and was the first African American to be awarded the Navy Cross for his bravery during Pearl Harbor.
“When opportunity presented itself, he did what sailors did during the war, he was a warrior, he joined the fight. He was a boxer, he fought and we want to commemorate that,” said Waco Pastor and Gospel Explosion organizer Carlton Stimpson.
Waco Cultural Arts Fest leaders said the $76,000 needed complete the monument are for the memorial plaques, Navy reliefs around the flag pole, and veterans plaques around the reflection pool.
"We stand on those shoulders of men like Doris Miller,” Stimpson said. “If he did what he did back then, his story should always be told.”
To help with the funds, Stimpson has organized a gospel explosion concert at the Grand Lodge of Texas.
"We're going to have the hot dog, the sauce and the jalapeno peppers on this concert,” Stimpson said. “Let’s start off with our local choir, the Waco Community Choir, they recorded with Rick Jones and they are going to be here.”
Not only will there be local singers, but gospel celebrities such as Deitrick Haddon, William Murphy and Keith Jones will be there, too.
“Being a part of the Doris Miller Memorial Committee, I've met some outstanding people and this is going to be outstanding. I can feel it,” Stimpson said.
Tickets for the concert are can be purchased for $25.00 at The Jockey Club and Marilyn’s Gift Gallery on Elm Avenue, Floyds Auto on Dallas Street in Waco, or Hair Ego on Hewitt drive. In Killeen and Harker Heights, tickets can be purchased at Gay’s House of Beauty.