Atmore remembers veterans

Published 10:15 am Monday, May 25, 2015

Harold Madison reads names of fallen veterans during Monday's ceremony. Listening are, left to right, Lana Langford, Glen Waldrop, Larry Houck, State Sen. Greg Albritton, Mayor Jim Staff, Bob Joyner and Billy Gates.

Harold Madison reads names of fallen veterans during Monday’s ceremony. Listening are, left to right, Lana Langford, Glen Waldrop, Larry Houck, State Sen. Greg Albritton, Mayor Jim Staff, Bob Joyner and Billy Gates.

The citizens of Atmore came together Monday morning at Atmore City Hall, to remember those who have fought for our nation’s freedoms.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7016 and American Legion Post 90 presented a Memorial Day ceremony at the Atmore Veterans Memorial Monument, in front of Atmore City Hall. Although clouds loomed overhead and the occasional rain drop fell, any strong storms stayed away.

The keynote speaker was State Sen. Greg Albritton, a retired commander in the U.S. Navy. Albritton told a story about a naval battle against the Japanese in World War II, when overwhelmed U.S. ships ignored the odds and fought against a much larger group of Japanese ships, in order to protect precious cargo.

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The commander of one of the ships, a Cherokee Indian, went down with his sinking ship. However, the feisty U.S. attackers were able to force the Japanese to retreat, and also sank four Japanese ships.

“It’s that fortitude that we honor today,” Albritton said. “It’s that determination, that feeling that we know what we do is right. To know that whatever the cost, we will do our duty.”

VFW commander Billy Gates provided the opening and closing remarks, and VFW chaplain Glen Wardrop gave the invocation and benediction. Atmore Mayor Jim Staff read a proclamation from the city celebrating the occasion.

Lana Langford sang the national anthem and Larry Houck introduced the keynote speaker. After Albritton’s speech, Gates and American Legion commander Bob Joyner placed a memorial wreath in front of the monument.

The names of those fallen veterans on the monument were then read during a memorial roll call. Lloyd Albritton, Harold Madison, Billy Elder and Ronnie Albritton read the names, while Jim Biggs rang a bell to solemnly memorialize each group of names.

At the conclusion of the roll call, a nine-volley salute was performed by the firing team of Richard Keesler, Ted Presley and Carson DeSeno, led by Steven Reynolds. Leo Odom then performed “Taps” as a moment of silence was held.

The names of the veterans read Monday included:

• World War I — James Bogan, Joseph W. Bryars, Clifford Cunningham, Kevie Digman, Henry Dunson, Robert B. Hines, Albert Johnson Jr., Joe O. Johnson, Oliver Johnson, Willie Lassiter, Thomas Vasser Salter, Albert E. Stanton, Kellum M. Walker, William C. Maxwell and Billy G. Rushing.

• World War II — Henry Ardis, Roosevelt Ashford, Marion F. Bell, Arthur C. Bowden, Ernest L. Boyette, Charlie D. Brown, Nathan P. Brown Jr., John I. Brown, Oliver G. Cassady, Haward D. Chavers, John H. Clark, Charles L. Cooper, Harold Daw, Henry T. Farish, Clifton C. Fendley, Hillary D. Finley, Harvie Foster, Archie Glass, Louis Green Jr., Daniel F. Hall, Eubie A. Hall, Ralph Hall, Roy R. Henderson, Jess W. Huggins, Charles L. Hutto, Elbert Jenks, Gaston C. King, Leon Kizer, Marvin E. McCawley, Almas McKinley, Emmett L. Mixon Jr., Robert L. Montgomery, Eugene Nall, Comer Z. Owens, William V. Phillips, N. L. Rackard, Robert Rowell, Albert C. Sims, Vaden Stewart, Henry L. Stokes, Fellis Taylor, Kenneth L. Turner, Aubrey E. Vaughn, Hollis W. Wearren, Maxine Thomas Wearen, Maurice Earl White, Thomas U. White, William S. White Jr., Iva C. Wiggins, Alfred K. Williamson, Charles O. Wilson, Glen Foust Almon, Freeman Wilton Baker, Joseph D. Camp, Ted Amos Carter, Homer Lee Childress, James Dewrell Dennis, James Allen Graham, John Frank Hanks, Ernest Kelly, Clyde Mathis, Edgar Verle Pickern, Alfred A. Pipkin, Norman Leonard Russell, Louis M. Waseman, Thomas J. White, Harry Merriwether and Linwood Stanton.

• Korean War — Herbert W. Frazier, Aubrey Godwin, Robert E. Godwin, Paul Rexall Goodson, James C. Lee, Terry S. McCall, Buford Terry and Barney A. Tolbert.

• Vietnam War — Jessie Barlow, Richard Benjamin, Jack Elliot Clemmons, James Rayford Gohagin, Quentin Hayes, James Mathew Kelly, James M. McKinley, Jack Smith, Elmer Jack Taylor, Larry Benjamin Thomas, Jerry W. Corley, Michael D. Cruit, Larry Eugene Gonzales and Allen Gandy.

• Afghanistan — Bruce Ferrell Jr.

• Honored others — Nicholas Baggett, Leon Barron, Chesley L. Brawner, Ollie B. Jackson, Preston McMillan, Bodie Riley, Julious Scot, John F. Shreve and Robert (Willie) Williams.

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