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Navarro Ceremony Details

AUSTIN - One of Texas’s founding fathers will get the recognition he deserves at the Texas State Cemetery on Friday, February 27. A cenotaph or memorial marker will be dedicated to Jose Antonio Navarro, a native Texan and revolutionary patriot.
“He was highly respected by his peers, intelligent, had a deep love for Texas and freedom and was the most influential Tejano of his generation,” said Sylvia Tillotson, a descendent of Navarro and an organizer of the monument project. “When I first visited the State Texas Cemetery about four years ago, I wondered why Navarro wasn't buried there. That's when the idea was first born and thoughts of a monument in his honor began to take root.”
Navarro was instrumental in allowing settlers from the United States to immigrate to Texas. He formed a strong friendship with Stephen F. Austin and helped the fledgling Republic get on its feet. He signed the Texas Declaration of Independence and suffered for his vision. He was imprisoned in Mexico after the Sante Fe Expedition and was sentenced to death, but never renounced his allegiance to Texas. He eventually escaped and went on to support Texas’s annexation into the United States, helping to draft the state constitution. He served in both the State House of Representatives and the State Senate. Throughout his life he championed the idea of Texas and tried to protect Tejano rights.
“He is one of Texas’s true founding fathers,” said Will Erwin, historian at the State Cemetery. “He was there at just about every great decision point in the history of the Republic and the State. It is appropriate that he has a monument at the State Cemetery and we will be proud to have it.”
The Texas State Cemetery hosts 20,000 school children a year and about 5,000 adults. With a prominent spot in the Cemetery’s oldest and most prestigious areas, the Navarro Cenotaph will be seen by school children and visitors alike.
The monument dedication will take place at 11 a.m. Dignitaries scheduled to speak at the dedication include The First Lady of Texas, Cecilia Abbott; Carlos Cascos, Designate- Secretary of State; Senator Don Huffines, Rep. Jason Villalba and Senator Leticia Van de Putte. Dignitaries, Navarro descendants, friends, and invited guests will be in attendance to honor a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence and the only native-born Texan to help write the Texas constitution.
Members of the public are encouraged to park on Comal Street and Navasota Street. Parking inside the Cemetery is limited to dignitaries.