Memorial Day

In recent weeks, I’ve been in schools testing students. In our Pre-K building, there is a wall of shadowboxes dedicated to those from Pike County, Georgia who died serving our country. I wasn’t sure why at the time, but I felt the familiar nudge to take photos of each of these boxes – perhaps to dig deeper into the lives of these fallen soldiers at a later time. Today, I realize that I needed these reminders now more than ever before – that there is a life and a story beneath each headstone in our nation’s military cemeteries. One of those, the story of Robert Eugene Oxford, is shared in a 2017 post. You can read it here.

These heroes all have stories. They were each somebody’s precious baby who lost their first tooth and skinned their knee – maybe all in the same week. They decided to serve their country, got a buzz cut, and polished their shoes. They sacrificed their own lives so that we could enjoy freedom.

I can only imagine what they would think if we offered a hand into their graves to bring them back for a week to see how we have managed their sacrifice. Have we been good stewards of their investment in our country?

Something to think about as we watch the news and wonder.

On this Memorial Day, I reflect on the sacrifices and selfless love of these men from Pike County, Georgia who served the United States of America and gave their lives. I’ll listen to Lee Greenwood’s Proud to Be An American this afternoon as we cook out at a state park campground in Juliette, Georgia. And I’ll remember that while we have much to talk about as a nation on a battlefield all its own, I’m still one very proud American, because these brave men and others like them were part of making it happen.

I must also give a special thanks to Todd Child, a former Teacher of the Year in Pike County who is retiring this year. His tireless efforts in honoring those who have served, along with his research, have helped make this memorial wall possible through the American Legion.

John G. McClendon, 1893-1918
Roswell Hooten, 1899-1918
Leon Davis, 1895-1918
Vernon Slade, 1893-1918
Lawrence Sullivan (?-1918) and Pierre Sullivan (1892-1917)
Flag to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of WW1, flown on the courthouse square
Herman Davis, 1893-1918
Solon Self, 1889-1918
Arthur Ballard, 1897-1918
Henry O’Neal, 1890-1918
William Bankston, 1895-1918
Green Blackmon, 1896-1918
Willie King, 1937-1969
Perry Story, 1913-1945

Virgil Middlebrooks, 1924-1947
Marion Smoot, 1921-1942
Malcolm Carter, 1919-1942
David Ledford, 1918-1942
Joel Matthews, 1915-1944
Marvin Adkerson, 1925-1944
Tilton Gooden, 1924-1944
Johnnie Alexander, 1929-1952
Ralph Bishop, 1926-1945
Earl Coggin, 1927-1950
Lonnie Silver, 1947-1967
William Gwyn, 1843-1896
Glenn McCuaig, 1945-1967
Ben Scott, 1897-1918
Thomas Slade, 1851-1892
James Harris, 1947-1966
Charlie Tidwell, 1925-
Robert Oxford, 1919-1944
I had the privilege of being at the ceremony when Robert Oxford’s remains were returned to Pike County and laid to rest in Concord, Georgia. What a day this was! More of the story is in a previous post, linked above.

Ephesians 6:12 

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

3 Replies to “Memorial Day”

  1. Kim, there could hardly be a better accompanying verse here than the once you chose. I think also of “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars…” It is so important to remember and honor the sacrifices made on behalf of our country, for as citizens, we must believe in its worth: “While we have much to talk about as a nation on a battlefield all its own, I’m still one very proud American, because these brave men and others like them were part of making it happen.” We have to believe it can be better… and work to make it so.


  2. I couldn’t agree more. Often we forget our martyrs who laid down their lives for our tomorrow. As someone from a defense forces family, that has had people from my father who fought in WWII, to uncles, brothers-in-law, fighting in the many wars my country has fought, and my nephew 26 yrs old, a Captain in the Army laying down his life… this is something more people should do… be thankful, grateful and show it by remembering and honoring them. Thank you for writing this.

    Liked by 1 person

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