One year ago, Gonzales, along with numerous Harris County Precinct 2 representatives and members of the Seguin Historical Society, cut the opening ribbon on the park that dawns the name of his great-great-great-great grandfather, Juan N. Seguin. Seguin was the only commissioned officer who fought at the Alamo and survived to fight for Texas independence at San Jacinto. Seguin went on to be the mayor of San Antonio and a senator in Texas Congress. He died in 1890.
March 7, 2019, marked the one-year anniversary of the park which, complete with walking trails, a nautical-themed playground, and a large pavilion, has become a place where residents can play, have a picnic or watch the ships in the water. The park also includes several monuments with information about Seguin.
“Everyone needs a hero,” Gonzales said. “There are football heroes, basketball heroes … we need a Texas hero. Juan Seguin’s name should be synonymous with Crockett, Bowie, Travis and other Texas heroes. The park really helps educate the general public that Hispanics did fight for Texas independence.”
Residents and elected officials celebrated the park’s anniversary Thursday with an informal ceremony at the park followed by a lunch. Roland Salazar, a historical reenactor who participates in the annual Battle of San Jacinto reenactment, attended the ceremony Thursday and said the park is one of the few places that highlight Hispanic contributions to Texas independence.
“This park really helps people, especially young people, learn more about how Texas came to be,” Salazar said. “When I was a kid, I remember my third-grade teacher just said ‘here’s a John Wayne movie,’ and that was it. This park helps tell the whole story and is educational for everyone.”
Juan Seguin Historical Park is located at 4407 Independence Parkway in La Porte. The park is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Do you prefer to be Albert or Al Seguin Gonzalez?
Why do you think this park is important?
It shows that the state of texas county, city, and the parks department, all the entities are showing the inclusiveness of Hispanics in texas history. Everyone needs a hero. Football heroes, basketball hero, we need other texas heroes. Bowie, Crockett, Travis and other texas heroes. Seguin should be synonymous. It helps to educate the general public that Hispanics did fight for Texas independence.
What did you feel a year ago during the ribbon cutting?
Emotions ran very high. Opinions ran very high. A pride in our government for having acknowledged Juan Seguin, to begin with. Pride with here sants a park in Seguin's name. It was very exciting. I thought were a lot of wondering things being said about him. The mayors of different cities, the county commissioner, sheriffs.
What has this park brought to the community?
It offers the community a place to gather, kids to play on the playground, people that want to take a few minutes to just reflect and watch the ships go by, pray. A multitude of functions. I go out there different times since then and I watch the ships go by and I pray and just meditate let your mind wander.