2018-11-14 / Features

Paying homage to veterans

PHOTOS AND STORY BY JOHNNY WHITFIELD
COURIER-TIMES EDITOR



American Legion Post 138 adjutant Reggie Horton greets Dr. Tori Bradsher at the dedication of memorial bricks in the name of her father and brother. American Legion Post 138 adjutant Reggie Horton greets Dr. Tori Bradsher at the dedication of memorial bricks in the name of her father and brother. Allied and Axis leaders met in Versailles to bring an end to World War I 100 years ago this week.

On Saturday, veterans of several wars – including veterans of that fi rst great international war – were honored on the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day.

Now called Veterans Day, the observance stretched out across the three-day weekend in Person County.

On Saturday, veterans marched – or rode in jeeps and trailers – through Uptown Roxboro. The small crowd scattered along Main Street to greet them grew by the time the crowd reached the Person County Museum of History where music and a little military protocol mixed with somber remembrances.

Former Person High School history teacher Don Waldo led the crowd on a quick history of World War I, explaining how the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand brought countries into a war posture and created political alignments that pitted powerful countries against each other.

By the the third year of the war, the U.S. was drawn into the military action and, within another year or so, the fighting was over.

But the fighting cost 20 Person County men their lives.

On Saturday, those who attended heard each one of those names read aloud, followed by the plaintive sound of a bell that rang once for each name.

Person County’s World War I dead included 1st Lt. William C. Bailey, Pvt. Robert Blackwell, Pvt. Lex C. Brown, PFC Willie Childress, Pvt. Henderson Clayton, PFC Arthur Deshazo, Pvt. David C. Dixon, Pft. Joseph C. Evans, Pct. Benjamin J. Franklin, Pvt. Charlie Humphrey, Pfc. Leonard J. Long, Sgt. Fletcher W. Merritt, PFC Bennie H. Paylor, Pvt. Dallas Rimmer, Pvt. Charlie Terrell, Pvt. George T. Wilborn, Pvt. Johnnie Wilburn, PFC Hugh A. Williams, 1st Lt Guy J. Winstead and Pvt. Robert L. Woody.

Betsy Paul, the Regent of the Thomas Person Chapter of the DAR, rings a bell after hearing the name of every Person County resident who died in World War I. 20 Person County residents died in that war. Betsy Paul, the Regent of the Thomas Person Chapter of the DAR, rings a bell after hearing the name of every Person County resident who died in World War I. 20 Person County residents died in that war.

Roxboro Community School band member Carson Hester renders Taps at the close of Saturday’s program. Roxboro Community School band member Carson Hester renders Taps at the close of Saturday’s program.

Retired Person High School history teacher Don Waldo walked the crowd through the history of World War I. The end of that war, on Nov. 11, 1918, become known as Armistice Day. Retired Person High School history teacher Don Waldo walked the crowd through the history of World War I. The end of that war, on Nov. 11, 1918, become known as Armistice Day.

Jim Bittner, of Pittsburgh, awaits the start of Saturday’s Veterans Day program at the Person County History Museum. Bittner was visiting his son last week and said he didn’t know when he came that he’d be in a parade while he was in Roxboro. Jim Bittner, of Pittsburgh, awaits the start of Saturday’s Veterans Day program at the Person County History Museum. Bittner was visiting his son last week and said he didn’t know when he came that he’d be in a parade while he was in Roxboro.

For some of the veterans in Saturday’s parade, the transportation may have looked all too real. For some of the veterans in Saturday’s parade, the transportation may have looked all too real.

Surrounded by flags representing each branch of the service, veterans make their way down Main Street toward the Person County History Museum Surrounded by flags representing each branch of the service, veterans make their way down Main Street toward the Person County History Museum

U.S. military veterans parade down Main Street in Roxboro on Saturday morning, led by a JROTC honor guard. U.S. military veterans parade down Main Street in Roxboro on Saturday morning, led by a JROTC honor guard.

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