ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Chris Kyle is a man many know as the deadliest sniper in U.S. history, an American hero. Now, after years of planning, his statue will stand tall in his birth place of Odessa.
The statue stands 17 feet tall and cost nearly $1 million, but the message behind the limestone and granite memorial will live on for years to come.
"We hope in 50 years and 100 years, other veterans can see this and and go, 'Hey, this community cared about the veterans that are in that community," said Chris Kyle Memorial Chairman, Kirk Edwards.
A simple message to show veterans that they're not alone. It comes in the form of the Chris Kyle Memorial, dedicated to the late American sniper, who served four tours in Iraq and was awarded various medals for his bravery.
"This community loves those who serve, whether it is police officers or veterans. I feel like it's just showing that they get it. They get what service is, as well as a tribute to Chris," said Taya Kyle, the widow of Chris.
Hundreds of West Texans from all walks of life gathered to see the big reveal. It was a ceremony of unity to honor Chris and the veterans of our nation.
"The more of the Navy SEAL's that we talked to, the more military that we talked to that knew Chris, all of them said he wouldn't want this to be about him," said Kelly Cook, the landscaping architect for the memorial.
The statue of Chris is the focal point of the memorial, but the rest is filled with critical quotes for veterans and hidden symbolism that only a veteran would know.
Taya Kyle often thinks of how Chris would react to the worldwide attention he's received. She said she knows in her heart he would remain humbled.
"I just think he would be in awe and appreciative and be compelled to do more," said Taya.
The memorial project was completely funded by donations.
Chris Kyle and his friend, Chad Littlefield, were killed in 2013 at a shooting range. A former Marine was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for their deaths.