Post Commander Larry Morrison gave opening remarks.
Morrison welcomed the crowd then provided a narrative of a couple of the fallen soldiers.
“Gordon Eurich Wood was born in Georgia in 1916,” Morrison said. “The 1930 Census listed his family living in the home of his paternal grandmother Sarah A. Wood in Murray...Gordon’s family consisted of Drury Wood, aged 40, Hazel Wood, age 30, Sarah M. Wood, age 15, Gordon, himself age 13, Burton Wood age 10 and D.F. Wood, age 5. The father had been in Georgia, was born in Georgia, the mother in Ohio and all of their children born in Murray County. His enlistment records indicate that Gordon completed grammar school then worked in a mill. He was single with no dependents. He was 66” tall and weighed 148 pounds. He enlisted as a private on July 13, 1941...His service number was 34085211. At the time of his death he was serving the 1stt Engineer Combat Battalion 1st Infantry Division in Belgium. Private Wood reportedly died in a plane crash. He was buried in Grave D33...an American Cemetery in Belgium.”
“Raymond Beam, Viet Nam,” Morrison said. “Pauline Beam Woodlow remembers well a conversation from August 1968, several members of the Prince Albert Beam family were sitting in the yard as darkness approached, discussing the news that shocked Murray County that day. The Army had notified a neighbor that their son had been killed in Viet Nam. He was the third Murray County soldier to die in that conflict. Pauline’s brother Raymond, had just been deployed to Viet Nam. Raymond Beam’s mother told them we’re probably going to have to go through the same thing ourselves. Afterwards, some of the Beam’s wondered if their mother might have had some sense that Raymond was going to be killed. Less than a month after that conversation, on Friday, September 13, 1968, Raymond Beam was killed by multiple fragmentation wounds...Ms. Beam was home alone when the military man came to officially notify her of her son’ death.”
The official drove her to Dalton to notify Raymond’s widow and two sisters. The Army listed Raymond as casualty number 32,884 of the war.
He was buried with military honors in Robinson-Kilgore cemetery.
Murray County has lot 57 to the Spanish-American War, WWWI and WWII, the Korean War and the Viet Nam War.
Murray County Commissioner Brittany Pittman was the guest speaker for the event.
“It’s worth noting that our nation 230 years ago, the American Revolution ended in 1783,” Pittman said. “And it was 200 years ago when our soldiers were dying on the battlefield in the war of 1812. It was 150 years ago in 1863 after the greatest battle ever fought on American soil, that we could utter the words the Gettysburg Address as our nation dedicated a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who gave their lives for our nation...Seventy years ago more Americans were dying in World War II, in 1953, we ended the Korean War, in 1973, we ended the Viet Nam War, and perhaps next year, we will end the fight in Afghanistan. Wars are not without their glory, they are not without heroes, but they bring such wretched loss. Lincoln questioned that loss as a man who knew loss as he said be here highly resolved that that these deaths shall not have been in vain.”
“Today is a solemn day of remembrance,” Pittman said. “A day that should be properly be set aside contemplating, ask yourself, where would you be without the personal sacrifice made by these men and women. That is why I want to extend a thank you to each one of you here today. You didn’t take your freedom for granted, it’s price is well known to you. By being here today you’re setting an example for others and at the same time you’re remembering that so many of our fine young Americans are still in harm’s way.