If there’s a better single word to describe Memorial Day in Sylva, we’ve yet to come across it.
The centerpiece of Monday’s events will be the William E. Dillard American Legion Post’s Memorial Day Observance, set for noon at the Memorial Fountain. The ceremony includes honoring Jackson veterans who have died over the past year. (To see the complete event schedule and information on William E. Dillard, turn to page 5B).
Above the Memorial Fountain, Courthouse Hill will be festooned with Flags for Heroes. This marks the second year of the event, presented by the Sylva Rotary Club. The program is part of a national movement paying tribute to men and women in the armed forces; flags will also be up on the Fourth of July at Mark Watson Park, and on Veterans Day. If you’re interested in adopting a flag or learning more about the program, go to www.sylvarotaryclub.org/flags-for-heroes.php.
The last feature of Memorial Day in Sylva is also a relatively new one, but it seems like it’s been around forever, fitting Sylva like a comfortable old sweater: The banners lining Main Street.
The effort began with Sylva native Lambert Hooper looking for a way to honor local servicemen who died in World War II; he dove into research and found information regarding local servicemen who died in the war, including their branch of service and in most cases the location where they died. The red banner program has expanded its scope, and will now line Main Street for the third year.
The banners flutter lightly in the breeze, whispering the names of those we should remember.
They’re a bit different from many historical markers in that a great deal of our signage recalling the past is located on roadsides. We blaze by at 60 mph and catch a word or two if we’re lucky.
The Main Street banners are different, taken in as we walk the same street as many of the people on the banners once did.
Looking at them is a deeply personal experience, creating a quiet connection.
A dignified connection, if you will.
They’re worth remembering.
Also worth remembering are those whose names will be read at the Post Everlasting presentation Monday recalling the veterans we lost in the last year.
Their names: Rita Mae Cabe Shelton; Paul Eudean Hoxit; Manuel Scott “Scotty” Cooper; Roy Candler McClure; Donald Joe Ashe; Clearance “Jabo” Middleton; Rev. Jack Wayne Caldwell Sr.; Henry Queen; James Ronald “Jim” Jones; Anthony B “Dusty” Destefano; William Paul Holt, Jr.; Alain Georges Fokine; Richard Boyd Cooper; Eugene “Raye” Parker; John Pohlenz; William “Bill” R. Locust, Jr.; William “Bill” T. Shuler; Donald “Don” Turton; Tracy Lovin Hooper; Stanley “Stan” Louis Cygan; Gary Ray “Garbo” Browning; Andrew Francis Dolge; Raymond “Chucky’ Owle III; Robert S. Youngdeer; George Henry Lambert; Dale Morgan French Sr.; James Ed Bumgarner; Winfred Maney; James Burton “Burt” Farmer; Clyde Kinsland; Harold Oscar Majors; Ronnie Floyd Sitton; Ronald Lee Westberry; Richard “Ricky’’ Cogdill; J.B. Cook; Richard “Rich” Peoples; Bobby Neil Setzer; Staff Sgt. Randy Douglas Bocook; Earl Franklin Hooper; Henry Lee Conner; Roy Lee Frady; Thomas “Tom” Allen Hester; Jimmy Mack Tippett; Robert Morris England; Stanley Thomas Hill; Noah Ledford Jr.; Jeffrey Alan Coates; Il Whan Chung, urologist; Earl O. Feilner; Bruce Roger “Van” Van Etten; Billy Cowan Aikens; Richard “Dick” Ford; Claude E. Thurston; Earl Kinneth Morgan; Loren William “Bill” Snyder; and Ronnie Dale Barker.