JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas –
Each year on Aug. 27, a wreath is placed at Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park on the gravesite of former President Lyndon B. Johnson in observance of his birthday.
The event is a long-standing tradition sponsored by the National Historical Park service that includes an Air Force senior officer, while honoring the only U.S. president born and raised in Texas.
"It is my distinct pleasure and honor to represent the members of our armed forces and in particular, the men and women of Joint Base San Antonio, as we pay special tribute to one of our nation's foremost leaders, President Lyndon B. Johnson," Brig. Gen. Bob LaBrutta, 502nd Air Base Wing and Joint Base San Antonio commander, said. "One hundred and six years ago, a visionary who led our nation, who was determined to build 'a great society' was born here, our only president born and raised in the great state of Texas. Today with this wreath laying ceremony, we not only remember his birth, but celebrate his life, his lasting legacy."
Johnson was a visionary who focused on ways to make the United States a better place to live, work and raise a family during his time in office.
LaBrutta quoted President Johnson saying, "If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracles of technology," President Johnson said. "We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it."
LaBrutta also stated that, Johnson's dream of building a better way of life for all Americans was evident in the bills that he championed during his tenure in office regarding urban renewal, education, environmental beautification and conservation. Moreover, he led Congress to the passage of Medicare, Medicaid, additional voting rights and civil rights.
Aaron Hernandez, a 2014 graduate of Texas State University, was also at the event and spoke about the president's legislative accomplishments.
"Fifty years ago, President Johnson formulated his all-inspiring vision, 'The Great Society,'" Hernandez said. "As a true Texan, he knew what he wanted to do and how to do it. He truly believed in civil rights for all."
Hernandez also quoted President Johnson and said, "While emancipation may be a proclamation, it is not fact until education is blind to color; until employment is unaware of race."
A short time after that interview, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The following year, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was also enacted. These legislative accomplishments laid the foundation for Johnson's vision of 'a better tomorrow.'
"The Great Society did not end with his presidency," said Hernandez. "The Great Society lives on. It is our job to continue the vision he set before us."