Memorial Day ceremony to honor those who gave all
Each year residents of Franklin County gather on Memorial Day to honor the memory of the service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
This year, residents are invited to a special dedication ceremony presented by the Greater Shoals Area chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart where a memorial monument will be dedicated in honor of those who were wounded or lost their lives in service, which is a qualification for being awarded the Purple Heart.
Col. Shalon Sledge said the ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. at the Franklin County Veterans Park located at the Franklin County Archives building at 300 East Limestone St., Russellville.
Sledge said the ceremony and monument dedication is something the Greater Shoals Area chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart decided to do in the counties they serve as a way to pay proper tribute to these fallen soldiers.
“Three years ago our membership voted to put a monument in Lauderdale, Colbert and Franklin counties and we decided to do the presentations on Memorial Day,” Sledge said.
“The first monument was placed in Lauderdale County at Veterans Park, the monument we dedicated last Memorial Day was placed at the Colbert County Courthouse in Tuscumbia, and this year we will finish up our monument presentations with the one to be placed at the Franklin County Veterans Park.
“There are lots of monuments and memorials that recognize our local service members, but this is a special memorial to honor our fellow Purple Heart recipients – those wounded or killed in combat.”
Lt. Col. Grant Atkins, who retired with 30 years of service in the military and now serves as the commander of American Legion Post 64, said the ceremonies held on Memorial Day each year are a special time to remember the troops.
“It’s good for us to take time out of our everyday lives to think about those who have paid the price for our freedoms,” Atkins said.
“We should remember those men and women on a daily basis, but Memorial Day is just a special time set aside for us to pay tribute to them.
“Franklin County citizens have long had a patriotic spirit and a great respect and love for our community and our country. This is a special day and this will be a special ceremony, so we hope all of our veterans and members of the community will come out on Monday and help us honor these brave soldiers.”
Franklin County residents who lost their lives in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan are as follows:
WORLD WAR I – John A. Bates, Robert M. Berry, Willie Bolton, Albert T. Bonds, James L. Bonds, George Brewer, Felton Childers, Lewis E. Davis, William W. Duke, Walter B. Farned, Monroe Hall, Columbus E. Hunter, Oscar O. Kent, James D. Lindley, Federick Moody, Edd Morrow, William L. Pace, Robert L. Patterson, Thomas J. Ray, Roscoe Roberson, Marion Self, Terrel S. Sims, Joseph H. Smith, Thomas B. Taylor, Thomas H. Tayor, James H. Walston.
WORLD WAR II – James P. Amos, Franklin Ballard, William H. Barber, Jack W. Barnes, James E. Blevins, Fay Bolding, Hollis A. Bonds, Grady J. Boyles, Homer Britton, James E. Bryant, Hazel Bullen, George L. Cleere Jr., Arthur J. Coats, Rudolph Cofield, Early L. Colburn, Jasper T. Colburn, Robert S. Dearing Jr., Walter L. Demastus, William H. Dickinson, Walton DeFoor, Ollie M. Duboise, Virgil W. Duvall, Edward E. Fisher, Albert Fleming, Emile G. Freeman, William D. Freeman, Robert L. Fuller, James W. Gantt, Comer Garrison, William J. Gaultney, Grady A. Gilbert, Leoum A. Gilliland, Carlton F. Gober, John Grayson, William F. Hall, Johnie E. Harbin, Orvil J. W. Hardin, James V. Heavner, Willie D. Hines, Hobson E. Hudson, Euel R. Hutcheson, Robert W. Hutcheson, Dalton R. Hutchins, John P. Isom, John M. Keeton, Miley L. Kelley, Wayne W. Kimbrough, Roy E. Lane, Hubert D. Lawler, Orville E. Lawler, James E. Luna, Ossie T. Malone, Emeric B. Mayfield, Wallace E. Mitchell, Alvie L. Montgomery, James G. Morrow, Travis J. Murphy, J. C. McDuffa, Edison C. McMurry, James N. Newton, Hubert D. Nunley, Felix N. Parrish Jr., James E. Pennington, Cecil E. Plemons, Wilbur S. Pursell, Huston Richardson, Robert L. Reid, Franklin O. Rogers, William L. Sargent, Weaver N. Scott, John B. Searcy, S. B. Shotts, Earl T. Smith, Fay Smith, William H. Smith, Carl E. Southern, Robert S. Snoody, John F. Stanfield, Aulton Steele, Fred E. Sumerel, Leonard N. Sumner, Muris A. Sumner, Virgil Strawbridge, George A. Sparks, Elbert Taylor, James C. Taylor, James O. Taylor, Harold Terry, Hubert L. Thorn, Loy Thorne, James D. Thrasher, Joseph T. Underwood, James E. Vernon, Carl N. Vinson, William E. Wilson, James A. Wood, Velmer W. Young, Clark Zills, Franklin G. Zills.
KOREA – Kenneth Baker, Alfred T. Burgett, Charles G. Douglas, Willie A. Duncan, Paul Holloway, Johny R. Hutchins, D. L. Hyde, Travis O. Mashburn.
VIETNAM – Douglas Coats, Clinton E. Crofford, Dennis L. English, Ulys F. Hamilton, Robert L. McGee, Jr., James B. Smith, Stevie Taylor, Melvin D. Welborn, Larry M. Willis.
WAR ON TERROR, IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN – Christopher Bell, Chip Ramsey.