By Deanna Kirk – Corsicana Daily Sun
Heroes have been memorialized and immortalized in bronze for generations, dating back to wars early in our nation’s history.
So it is only fitting that a bronze is being sculpted in memory of DART Officer Brent Thompson, who was killed in the line of duty in Dallas the night of July 7, 2016. Thompson saved the lives of fellow officers and peaceful protesters that night from a crazed gunman, but gave his own life in the process.
The son of Sam and Paulette Thompson, Brent grew up in Corsicana. His children were all raised in Corsicana, and he was only a recent transplant to Dallas where he had married his sweetheart, Emily, at the time of his passing.
A committee formed several months ago, with District Clerk Joshua B. Tackett as the leader. Private donations have been coming in, albeit slowly, and Tackett has applied for some grants as well.
“Donations are 100 percent tax deductible,” Tackett said. “The artist . . . has already done ‘The Baker’ and ‘Coach Jim Acree’ for our town. He has also completed several statues on Texas A&M’s campus as well as several pieces for the Texas Historical Commission.” “The committee’s goal is to honor fallen DART Officer, Thompson, one of Corsicana’s very own hometown heroes,” said Sharla Allen, director Corsicana Parks and Recreation. “The family is involved. Sculptor / artist J. Payne Lara has been hired and created a two-foot mock-up of the statue that can be seen at the Chamber of Commerce.”
“The cost of this project will be around $75,000 and will be similar in style to other bronze statues located in the downtown Corsicana area,” Allen said.
The committee decided their favorite photo of Brent was one in which he was writing a “ticket” to a little boy and girl on the street. Lara sculpted Thompson, then the little girl, and the boy — about 8 years old — with the face of Brent’s youngest son, William, who passed away in November 2017.
Soon, the decision will be made with the Thompson family about where to place the bronze.
Thus far, about $20,000 has been raised in grants and individual and business donations.
“The primary means of funding is through solicitation of donations from community members and businesses, grant applications as well as fundraisers as needed,” Allen said.
The City of Corsicana, specifically the Parks and Recreation, will maintain balance and ledger sheets based on funds spent and received for the statue. Donations are being received for the statue. Donations are being received at the City of Corsicana, Attention: Brent Thompson Bronze. 200 North 12th Street, Corsicana, TX 75110.