Soldiers who put their life on the line for our country were united by more than just their services Saturday morning. Bowie has always been the heart of the Segundo Barrio, but for many alumni, it means more.
Tony Ponce is a proud Bowie Bear, Navy veteran, and the president of the Golden Bears Social Club. He sees his duties as more than leading an organization but maintaining a tradition.
“Nobody held an honorable mass, memorial mass if you will, for all the kids that died in World War II,” Ponce explained.
Saturday, Bowie alumni gathered for a mass to honor veterans from all wars who also once walked the halls of Bowie.
“We’re like a close family. We see them over there and we see them here and a lot of them we used to see them in high school back in the second ward or Segundo Barrio everybody was knit, everybody was family,” said Ponce.
After the mass, the names of the fallen were read and remembered.
“To be a veteran to have taken an oath and say I do to protect your country and your loved ones there’s nothing like it. Once a bear, always a bear and there’s a hardcore bear right here,” Ponce said.
The veteran’s mass is the only one of its kind in El Paso to honor alumni of a specific school according to organizers.