Honoring the fallen; Edmonson County Veterans Memorial Ceremony

Published: May. 27, 2019 at 11:27 AM CDT
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Veterans, county officials, and community members honored local veterans who died in war with a Memorial Day ceremony outside the Edmonson County courthouse.

The ceremony began with the presentation of flags and continued with officials reading the names of veterans who died while defending our country.

The names of those who served in war who are no longer with us rest proudly engraved on monuments outside the courthouse.

"It's special to me because it has, it has the names and the ranks and rates of the members of my family, my father, and his brothers," said Larry Ashley, whose family is engraved on the Wiley N. Willis Veterans Memorial Wall.

"During World War II my father and his two brothers were serving in the army and the navy at the same time, three brothers," said Ashley. "It starts right here there are five family members here that represented my father and his brothers."

During Monday's ceremony, special guest and World War II veteran Leon Tarter shared memories of his time overseas and shed light on what it was like to serve in the war.

"They went back and they called headquarters and they come back again," said Tarter. "There was about 800 German tanks coming, well everybody thought, 'Well we are fixing to be killed.'"

During the ceremony officials read the names of those from Edmonson County who paid the ultimate sacrifice and also recognized the veterans still alive who were in attendance.

Outside the Edmonson County courthouse are several monuments, including the Wiley N. Willis Veterans Memorial Wall, with the names of men and women from Edmonson County who died in war or died later in life after serving.

Every year organizers of the ceremony honor a veteran. This year they honored Sergeant Charles Graham.

Graham died March 12th, 1968 during an ambush patrol in the Vietnam War.

He was part of the first battalion 16th infantry. He was 24 years old.