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Navy commander urges Tyrrell citizens to pass on the legacy of freedom

Commander Jack Morris, US Navy, was the featured speaker at the Memorial Day service in Columbia on May 27, sponsored by the Glynn T. Cahoon post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

He is executive officer of the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit in Norfolk, Virginia. The Hinesville, Georgia, native has been acquainted with Tyrrell County since he married into the Armstrong family of Gum Neck in 1989.

“Proof that America is greater than any one of us can be noted right here in Tyrrell County where patriotism is the norm,” Commander Morris pointed out. “I say this with certainty and can prove it with the history that resides around you.

“According to the last census, there are 4052 people residing here and 335 citizens are classified as veterans, which equates to 8% of Tyrrell County’s population. In our nation today, less than 1% of our population chooses to serve our freedom.

“History also reveals that the memorials in Tyrrell County list 35 men that have laid down their life in combat since World War I. The average loss in other counties across the nation is 22 veterans, during these same wars. This fact proves that the patriotism and sacrifice of this county runs deep.

“The men of Tyrrell County who have paid the ultimate sacrifice since World War I are:

  • Clyde Armstrong
  • James Brickhouse
  • David Cahoon
  • Lloyd Dillon
  • Oscar Dodge
  • Asa Etheredge
  • Columbus Morris
  • Anderson Ader
  • Amsey Sawyer
  • Raymond Wilkins (Medal Of Honor recipient)
  • Junior Basnight
  • Ephraim Cooper
  • James Halloway
  • Thomas Jarvis
  • Chester Hopkins Jr
  • Mary Lee Kemp
  • Gaither Lassiter
  • William Mcclees
  • James Machen
  • Clarence Owens
  • Norman Smith
  • Charlie Sykes
  • Milton “pete” Taylor
  • Huron Voliva
  • Calvin Weatherly
  • Richard Wynn
  • Warren Davenport
  • Glynn Cahoon
  • Morgan Cahoon
  • Edwin Hoffman
  • Devoya King
  • Raymond Meekins
  • James “terry” Payne
  • Harmon Repass
  • Serge Spontanski

“These men, and patriots like them, have provided our nation with the freedom to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. They have ensured our right to vote, regardless of race, gender or creed. They have provided us freedom of religion. They have secured our right to have equal representation in our government. These patriots ensured that we are not subject to involuntary servitude.

“As we pause to remember these freedoms and their cost, we must also remember that each patriot we honor today died for a cause they considered more important than themselves. They died to defend a set of values that make us wholly American and make this country great.”

Commander Morris also reminded the audience of 63 county residents, “Each of us must make an asserted effort to insure the truth and history of those that died for this nation does not fade with time. We must teach the generations to come, so the sacrifice is never forgotten….Without guard, these sacrifices and historical truths are going the way of the revisionist history books.”

Commander Morris urged his hearers to “learn the hidden truths of our nation’s legacy and share it. We have an obligation to celebrate America’s freedoms, preserve America’s greatness and to teach about those she inspired to heroism, sacrifice, love of nation and love for one another.”

Layah Fauth, Columbia High School student, opened the program by singing the national anthem as VFW members Billie Hill and Joe Reynolds presented the national and state colors.

Following the pledge of allegience, VFW post commander Dallas Simmons welcomed everyone and introduced a short video, Angel Flight, depicting an Air Force aircraft transporting fallen servicemembers toward their homes.

Following Commander Morris’ remarks, Boy Scout Troop 86 laid a wreath of remembrance, and Richard Edwards, CHS band director, played Taps.

Veteran Walter Davenport prayed the benediction.