Lee County, Virginia
Veterans Memorial Wall
Dedicated May 24, 2003
"In Honor of Those Who Gave Some and
In Memory of Those Who Gave All"
(Scroll towards the bottom of the page to view the "Last Roll Call")
This great nation was founded on the belief that "all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights." History teaches that oft times men and governments arise with the intent of oppressing many so that a chosen few might preserve those rights unto themselves alone. On 04 July 1776, a few men declared their intent to "dissolve the political bands" tying them to an oppressive king and to establish a new nation and a new government designed to protect and preserve for all of its citizens the rights endowed by God. To this end, they offered their lives as a sacrifice so their posterity could live free. The nation they created has endured and its people have long enjoyed the freedoms for which they so bravely fought.
Our freedom was neither purchased without a price nor preserved without a cost. On 24 May, 2003, a crowd of nearly 1500 people gathered at Cumberland Bowl Park in Jonesville, Virginia to honor the memories of those who paid the ultimate price in the defense of freedom. Remembered also, were those who willingly offered their lives but were spared by the hands of God. These veterans do not think of themselves as the heroes we believe them to be, but merely men and women who answered the call to serve in the fight for freedom. On a hill hallowed by their memories now stands a monument to their sacrifice, "Lest We Forget."
The Lee County Veterans Memorial Wall was but a dream for nearly twenty-two years to R. B. Pennington, a top turret gunner on a B-17 in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. One evening, the Woodway Ruritan Club, to which Pennington belonged, honored another veteran, Reed Williams of the 82nd Airborne Division, 504 PIR, for his community service. That night, Pennington's dream began to come to life. With Williams and Pennington as co-chairmen, a committee was formed and plans began to take shape.
Hugh B. Drake, another World War II veteran of the 82nd Airborne, joined the committee as its Historian. The outstanding feature in the memorial plans was a granite monument containing the names of the killed in action, "Those Who Gave All," in the two World Wars, Korea and Vietnam. Countless days were spent combing through County records identifying the men whose names would be engraved on the monument.
Paul Pennington joined the committee as Secretary/Treasurer. Other members were Roy Cheek, Gary Thomas, Earl Johnston, Glen M. Williams, Jim Clark, Garland V. Ely, Billy Lawson, Floyd Pennington, Claude Davis, Joe Pat Cox and John Britton.
The site for the memorial, a hillside overlooking Cumberland Bowl Park, was approved by the Jonesville Town Council on 01 June 2002. Fundraising began on July 1st and the efforts were more successful than anyone could have hoped. Sufficient funds were collected and groundbreaking was held on 11 September 2002. Construction continued uninterrupted and the wall was finished and ready for dedication on 24 May 2003, Memorial Day Weekend.
(Double-Click a picture for a larger view.)
The finished wall is 100 feet long, 8 feet high, contains over 14,000 brick, and features a centered granite monument engraved with the names of 197 men killed in action. The KIA monument is crowned by a granite crest inscribed with the words, "Freedom is Not Free" and "Some Gave All." The front of the wall includes servicemen's bricks, honoring those who served in our nation's military. An inscription above the names reads "All Gave Some." The back of the wall has space provided for the recognition of individuals, businesses, organizations or churches who have made, or wish to make, donations of $100 or more. The lighted memorial also includes flower boxes and brick steps and walkways. Two cannons stand guard at either end of the wall and a lighted American Flag flies proudly above the center crest.
THE DEDICATION CEREMONY
SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2003
After welcoming remarks by Reed Williams, Reverend Larry Eakes, Director of the Powell River Baptist Association and a retired chaplain with the 82nd Airborne Division, offered the invocation. The invocation was followed by the posting of the colors by the county's JROTC programs and raising of the flags by veterans, U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sergeant R. B. Pennington, U.S. Army Command Sergeant Major Roy Cheek and PFC Hugh Drake, 82nd Airborne Division. The National Anthem was then played by the Lee High School Band, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and a Toast to the Flag by Joe Rasnick. Committee Chairman, Reed Williams then introduced the committee and the guest speaker, committee member, Honorable Judge Glen M. Williams. After Judge Williams' remarks, veterans, Cheek, Pennington and Drake unveiled the KIA monument. Josephine Wynn, mother of PFC Roy F. Wynn (KIA-Korea), cut the ribbon while Judge Williams read the dedication . . .
"We dedicate this monument today in honor of those who gave some and in memory of those who gave all."
Reverend Eakes, laid his left hand on the monument, and offered the benediction and blessing of the site. Members of the Ross Carter Appalachian Chapter of the 82nd Airborne Division Association next fired a volley of three shots, symbolizing "Rest in Peace." Terry Britton then sang "High on the Mountain," followed by a tape of Billy Ray Cyrus singing "Some Gave All." The ceremony concluded with Dr. Joe Smiddy and Kim Willis playing taps and offering a moment of silence.
The wall currently contains 1,421 bricks honoring service men and women who have served, or are currently serving, in the U.S. Military. The walls design allows for another 319 bricks. However, the perpetual project can extend the wall with the passage of time. Servicemen's bricks may still be purchased for $100 by going to http://www.lee-co.com/Main/brick.htm. (This link leaves this site). Complete the order form as per the instructions on the form and mail the form and your check to the address provided.
Should you wish to make a donation to the fund, you may send your check to:
The Lee County Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 526
Pennington Gap, Virginia 24277
Many of the details on the project came from the May 28, 2003 edition of the Powell Valley News. The picture of the monument was provided by Robin Thompson, Daughter of PFC Hugh B. Drake. I would also like to thank Rose Drake for entering the names from the KIA monument in the tables below.
"Lest We Forget"
The Last Roll Call
Sons of Lee County, Virginia
Killed in Action
World War I
|PVT Connie Bishop||PVT John P. Keys||PVT Loid Shackelford|
|1Lt Robert L. Buyington||PFC Harvey Lambert||PVT Millard Smith|
|SGT George W. Combs||CPL Wilburn R. McElroy||PVT Frank Sumpter|
|PVT John Goings||S2C Robert E. Mooney||PVT Byrd White|
|PVT Chester Haburne||F3C Ulysses J. Muncey||PVT Lee W. Whitt|
|PVT William E. Harris||PVT Ballard L. Oxford||CPL Lee Williams|
|PFC William Haynes||PVT Sidney M. Painter||PFC John Wolfe|
|PVT Charlie Jones||PFC Rufus Rhoten|
World War II
|PFC Edward G. Adams||PVT Frank J. Greer||SGT William F Ramsey|
|PFC James L Adams||PFC Randolph Haburne||PVT Innes C Ray|
|TS Benjamin S Adkins||SSGT Buck R. Hale||PVT Carol E Reasor|
|PFC Lloyd L Anderson Jr||PVT Clyde H. Hall||PVT Hubert Reasor|
|PFC Carl Barton||LT Charles H. Henderson||PFC Fusom H Rhymer|
|PVt Donald E Bays||PFC Lee Roy Hensley||PVT Ted W Richie|
|PFC John R Biggs||PFC Marion L. Hines||PVT Charles Rogers|
|TSGT Ray Bledsoe||PFC Palmer W. Horton||S2C Claude W Rogers|
|PFC Donival H Brown||PFC Jesse W. Hughes||PVT Dearl F Rogers|
|CPL John W Browning||SGT Sam Hughes||PFC Homer J Rowlett|
|PFC Walter Brummett||LT. W. C. Jones||MMC3 HArold Rutherford|
|PVT Bascom J Bryant||CPL William R. Justice||TS Richard E. Rutherford|
|SSGT Charles E. Burgan||TSGT Cecil E. Kennedy||SSGT W. K. Satterfield|
|PFC Charles L. Bush||PFC Claude B. Keyes||S2C Elmer H Schubert|
|SSGT Judy L. Carter||PVT Fred E. Lawson||1LT Vernon Sexton|
|PFC Perry Carter Jr.||PVT John H. Lawson||S1C JAmes H Sharp|
|PFC William F. Cavin||PFC Lucious R. Lawson||PVT Virlin B Skidmore|
|PFC PAul H. Cheek||AOM3C Lawrence P. Lay||PVT Elbert Smallwood|
|CPL T. S. Chisenhall||PVT Fritz J. Lee||SSGT PErlie E Smith|
|Sgt Harold Clarkston||Y2C John A. Litton||PVT Jack L Sprinkle|
|PFC Patton W. Clawson||PVT James O. Livesay||PFC James H Stanley|
|PFC Earl E. Coffman||PFC Ballard H. Lyons||S2C Jame N Stapleton|
|TSGT Lee M. Coffman||PVT Robert C. Marion||PVT Oscar M Stevens|
|PVT Paul R. Coffman||SGT Truman E. McElyra||PVT Tom T Sutton|
|PVt Henry C. Coldiron||PFC Thomas G. McKnight||SGT Cameron C Taylor|
|CPL Jack A. Collier||SGT E. Buster Middleton||SJC Kermit Taylor|
|PVT William F. Collins||SGT Elmer Middleton||PFC James H Tonker|
|PFC Claude A. Dewberry||PVT Samuel L. Miles||PFC Mose E VAnce|
|PVT Palmer Diffenderfer||PVT Samuel W. Miles||PVT HArold Wade|
|1LT Robert B. Edens||PVT Jessie A. Miller||PVT Charlie D Waddell|
|SSGT Carl S. Edwards||T8 Alfred E. Montgomery||TSGT Arthor H Warf|
|PFC James H. Eldridge||PVT Clearance E. Moore||PFC GArold D Warner|
|CPL Roscoe E. Fee||PVT George L. Nelson||PFC Joe C Warner|
|PFC Ballard S. Flanary||PFC Carl T. Newberry||CPL Vinson Watts|
|SGT Emmette D. Fleenor||PFC Roy G. Noel||SSGT Roy E Welch|
|PVt Tom H. Fleenor||PVT John H. Osborne||PFC Edward S Wells|
|SSGT Jack Fortner||CPL Worley Z. Osborne||TSGT Orbin G Wilder|
|PFC Avril Garrett||PVT Daine O. Parkey||SSGT George J Williams|
|PFC Charles Garrett Jr.||SGT Delbert L. Parsons||PVT Harry Williams|
|PVT Wiley G. Gibson||TSGT William J. Pennington||PFC JAck E Williams|
|PFC Charles Gilbert||2LT Phillip D. Pitts||PFC Haskel D Winninham|
|PFC Paul E. Gilley||CMM Hamilton H. Potter||SGT Arnold Wolfenbarger|
|PVt Edward Goins||CPL Isaac D. Privette||PVT COy Winn|
|PVT Thrurman Green||CPL James R. Province||SGT Marvin O Yeary|
|PFC William C. Anderson||CPL Howard L. Hobbs||PFC Donald C. Slemp|
|PFC Donald N. Belcher||SFC Eugene C. Jaynes||PFC Paul K. Taylor|
|PVT Buford E. Broughton||SFC Earl E. Jones||PFC Roy H. Thomas|
|PFC Doyle Collins||PFC James O. Livesay||PFC William J. Tonker|
|PVT Jack Fannon||PFC Charles L. Leach||PFC Troy H. Wade|
|PFC Samuel H> Flanary||PFC John H. Osborne||PVT Harold D. Wilder|
|SGT John Freeman||PFC Edward C. Parks||PVT Billy D. Wyatt|
|CPL Bobby R. Garrett||PFC Kyle Reasor||PFC Roy F. Wynn|
|PFC Lee Morris Garrett||PFC Amos L. Scott||PFC James T. Young|
|PFC Pryor Gobble|
|PFC Terry D. Alsup||SP5 Charles D. Goforth||PFC Olen W. Rasnic|
|SP4 Albert T. Ball||PFC Samuel Johnson, Jr.||SGT John R. Riddle|
|BM1 Scott C. Delph||SGT Alfred Lee||SP4 Buford Ellis Sumnet|
|GMG3 Lonnie Evans||CWO James A. Miner||SFC Roscoe Sybert|
|ADJ2 Donald F. Fee||SP$ Robert W. Naper|
Veteran: Another Word for Freedom
" . . . In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom,
and our peace, our wives and our children . . . "
The Title of Liberty
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