Rio Grande City Main Street in partnership with Rio Grande City EDC and VFW Post # 8526 held a Memorial Day Observance Ceremony in honor and memory for fallen heroes from Starr County on Friday, May 24that the Britton Avenue Quiosco (Kiosk) in downtown Rio Grande City.
This year’s ceremony was dedicated to the memory Army PFC Herschel M. Riggs, who went missing from the Korean War in 1950.
“I thank you all for coming and helping recognize, not only those killed in action but also, my uncle Hershcel Merle Riggs,” said Tony Jasso, nephew of Herschel Riggs.
Riggs was an infantryman with Headquarters Company, 19thInfantry Regiment, 24thInfantry Division, involved in combat actions against North Korean forces near Taejon, South Korea. He was declared missing in action on July 16, 1950, when he could not be accounted for by his unit and was declared deceased on July 31, 1953.
He was posthumously promoted to Private First Class and awarded a Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Korean War Service Medal.
In October 1950, a set of remains were found at Choch’iwon, South Korea and sent to the Central Identification Unit in Kokura, Japan for possible identification. Unable to be identified, his remains were buried in the National Memorial on the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency identified his remains through historical and scientific analysis and declared him accounted for earlier this year in March.
“On behalf of Rio Grande City, we honor the fallen and today with open arms, hearts and souls, we welcome Army Private First Class Herschel M. Riggs,” said Mayor Joel Villarreal.
The Rio Grande City Main Street Program provides many opportunities to get involved in downtown revitalization efforts. Anyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to visit the Main Street office at 406. E. Main Street or call (956) 488-0047.