Keep a porch light burning.

That message, requested by veteran-related organizations and a City of Lubbock representative Friday during a media conference at the War Memorial, is intended as a means of remembering the nation's soldiers past and present.

"To me, keeping the porch light on reminds me of the expression, 'Keep the home fires burning until the boys come home,'" City Councilman Steve Massengale said.

It was from a song intended to remind soldiers who were away at war, that they were remembered by their loved ones back at home.

"Veterans and their families have made tremendous sacrifices because of their service defending American freedom," Massengale said.

"It is estimated that there are over 20,000 veterans in Lubbock County alone. They have served for an American ideal that is larger than themselves — the cause of American freedom and independence."

Steve Oien, commander of the Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 0900, recounted a scene from the nation's past:

"A day in our history, April 18, 1775. There's a church in Boston, now it's called the Old North Church. Its spires reached to 191 feet. One light was lit, and off went Paul Revere on his famous ride."

Benny Guerrero, commander of the VFW post 2466, said Texans have recently made the ultimate sacrifice in a time of war:

"Since 9/11, over 600 Texans have given their lives for our freedom."

With an emotional appeal that urged the porch light remembrance, he said, "Do it for them, and do it for their families."

The veterans organizations plan to break ground at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Lubbock Area Veterans War Memorial for a Monument of Courage that will honor Gold Star families, Purple Heart recipients, and Medal of Honor recipients of this area.

Other events also are planned, including a tribute from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Elks Lodge 1348, located at 3409 Milwaukee Ave.

It will be conducted by the Francis Rainey Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Honor Flight Network, and team Red White and Blue.

Cake and light snacks will follow the program.

At the Silent Wings Museum, 6202 N. Interstate 27, doors will be open with free admission from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

A special ceremony for Veterans Day will include the reading of a Presidential Proclamation, presentation of the colors, and a flag folding presentation.

Taps will be played by Jerry Serrano. Children's activities are planned from 2 to 5 p.m.

Information also is available online at www.silentwingsmuseum.com.