Monument unveiled at Veterans Day service
Published 9:37 am Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Honors Beaufort County’s war dead
By CLAUD HODGES
A crowd many rows deep honored Beaufort County’s veterans at Veterans Park in Washington on Tuesday.
County veterans’ groups and the City of Washington unveiled a permanent battlefield-cross monument during the service to honor all Beaufort County residents who died serving their country in the military.
The city and veterans’ groups worked for several months to put together the logistics required to have the monument presented at Tuesday’s service.
The veterans’ groups solidified their bond during the planning process for the monument and the Veterans Day service, she said.
She said the veterans’ groups have decided to come together every year in their effort to improve the park.
The battlefield-cross monument is a brass statue of a standing rifle with its barrel in the ground, a soldier’s boots on either side of the barrel and a soldier’s helmet balanced on the butt of the rifle.
Traditionally, a battlefield-cross monument is constructed with a fallen soldier’s rifle, boots and helmet by his comrades on the battlefield where the soldier died. Typically, the soldier’s identification tags are hung from the rifle.
A plaque affixed to the base of the fallen-soldier monument reads: “ALL GAVE SOME — SOME GAVE ALL.” The seals of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Army National Guard and Merchant Marine are stamped below that inscription. The monument sits atop a base of bricks.
At the service, the four Beaufort County soldiers who died in the war on terror were recognized. Their parents were presented with banners and stars signifying the American public’s appreciation for their children’s sacrifices.
Also at the service, Marine Corps Sgt. Rochelle Griffin from Camp Lejeune praised all veterans as she spoke about the historical significance of Veterans Day.
Veterans Day was established by Congress so a grateful nation can pay homage to all of its veterans, she said.
Betsey Lee Hodges, president of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 15 in Beaufort County, said Tuesday’s service and unveiling of the fallen-soldier monument should be a testament of how the City of Washington and the veterans’ groups from Beaufort County joined together to bring about the monument.