WWII Monument dedicated

B y Bill Toscano

 

Air Force Col. Jeffrey McEachron stood in front of the entire Granville High School student body and recalled what happened the first time his father Robert saw him and other youngsters running through the World War II memorial trees behind the high school.

“My dad grabbed me and said, ‘Do you know what these trees are for? When you come here you remember this, each stands for a Granville kid who made the ultimate sacrifice.’ After that, we would always remember to pay respect when we were there. We’d run to practice, but we’d walk through those trees.”

McEachron was in Granville his week for his father’s funeral. When he found out the high school was holding a Constitution Day assembly as part of the dedication of the plaque naming the 32 local residents killed in World War II, the same men the trees were planted for, he sought out the opportunity to speak.

The packed auditorium hung on his booming voice as he talked about his pride in his hometown.

Later in the ceremony, social studies teacher Christine Cook reminded the students that World War II came out of a vindictive treaty and the inability to forgive the issues of World War I.

“I came to Granville 31 years ago, and I remember when Kathy Hayward first showed me the Avenue of Honor,” she said of the path among the trees. “Sadly, some of our local soldiers paid the ultimate price, but Granville never forgets those who served.”

John Norton, a World War II veteran who knew all the local men killed in the war, also reminded the students of a monument in the front of the school which lists all Granville’s veterans of World War II.

“There are more than 700 names there from World War II. Go out and visit the monument, and you’ll find some relatives there,” he said. “They all gave up two to four years of their lives in defense of the country.”

Norton, a frequent speaker at veterans’ events at the school, complimented the students. “It’s nice to know we have such fine students attending our school,” he said. “You are always very attentive when we come.”

Later, when the ceremony moved outside, Superintendent Mark Bessen spoke directly to the small group of seniors who had come out with him.

“I look at you seniors today, and these guys were just like you,” he said. “If you think that the graduating classes back there were about 70 students, so you are looking at 10 years of graduating classes.”

Lila Myer, a teacher’s assistant at the school and a long-time supporter of veterans causes, was the guiding force behind the monument. Now she has a new project on the horizon.

“The next thing we need to do is put a sign in front of each tree with the name of the person it is planted in memory of,” she said. “We cannot forget them.”

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Sentinel in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Weekender – 08/28/15

Lakes Classifieds – 08/28/15

Lakes Region Freepress – 08/28/15

Northshire Freepress – 08/28/15

Classifieds 08/27/15

Washington County Fair in full swing

407624_345593242132090_322483287_n

By Linda Ellingsworth There’s still plenty of time to experience the excitement of the Washington County Fair. A celebration of […]

Coin drops hurt by bridge work

Bridge

By Dan King Those who volunteer their time to serve the people of Whitehall say their coin drop operations have […]

Working together: town, village fixing waterline

DSC_1921

By Dan King For the past week and a half the town and village of Whitehall have been working together […]

Washington County Board opposes Common Core

Schulz 2

By Dan King The third time was indeed a charm for Hartford Supervisor Dana Haff and activist Bob Schulz. Haff […]

Townwide sale next weekend

Lawn sale 006

By Dan King Bargain seekers will converge on Whitehall Labor Day Weekend, as they seek the best deals around. The […]

Three vying for public safety position

By Christina Scanlon Washington County supervisors have narrowed the field to three candidates for county public safety director and will […]

Recycled teens applauded

By Christina Scanlon Nine honorary members of the Mettowee Valley Senior Citizens were honored last week at a luncheon filled […]