Arlington World War II Memorial – Dedication Ceremony

May 8 was the Dedication Ceremony of the Arlington World War II Memorial. The event was initially scheduled for 2020 but postponed due to COVID-19.

This article first appeared in the June/July issue of the Arlington Historical Society newsletter.


Arlington World War II Memorial – Dedication Ceremony

May 8, 2021 – City Center Plaza


More than 100 people attended the Dedication Ceremony for the Arlington World War II Memorial. Several World War II veterans attended, along with others having ties to our armed forces. There were even relatives of a few of the men being honored on the plaques. It was a special day for veterans, the Arlington Historical Society, and the City of Arlington.

The World War II Memorial consists of:

  • Colonel Neel E. Kearby’s Texas Historical Marker and a life-sized bronze statue.
  • A plaque honoring the Arlington heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice in World War II.
  • A plaque explaining the wartime contributions of North Texas Agricultural College 
  • A plaque, “In Memoriam – Lest We Forget,” celebrating the service and sacrifice of the men and women of Arlington who entered the armed forces (see the text, below).

The program included an invocation, ROTC flag ceremony, guest speakers, dedication of the memorials, and a benediction. We also recited the Pledge of Allegiance, sang “God Bless America,” and heard a rendition of “Taps.”

Mayor Jeff Williams spoke and praised the patriotism and spirit of Arlington. Steven Barnes, AHS President, read the names of the Arlington service members who gave their lives to the war effort. A moment of silence followed.

Rev. Michael Glaspie, a decorated Army veteran, captured the moment in his closing benediction: “Let us remember how precious freedom is.”

The event was infused with a spirit of gratitude, recognition, and remembrance. It was a sincere and meaningful tribute to our World War II generation and their sacrifice.

A reception followed at the Fielder House Museum, with folks enjoying refreshments and admiring our World War II exhibit.

World War II Memorial – Dedication Ceremony

Below is the text from the “In Memoriam” plaque, including the names.

In Memoriam
The World War II Casualties of Arlington, Texas
 
Dedicated by
The City of Arlington and the Arlington Historical Society
 
In eternal gratitude for the heroes of this community who served in the Armed Forces of the United States during World War II (1941-1945).
 
And in honor of our native sons who fell in every quarter of the earth in defense of liberty, and whose names are here recorded.
 
This monument stands in sacred memory of those who gave their lives to save our nation from the forces of unspeakable tyranny.
 
“The names of those who in their lives fought for life,
Who wore at their hearts the fire’s centre.
Born of the sun, they travelled a short while toward the sun
And left the vivid air signed with their honor.”
— Stephen Spender
 
Here we remember the price of freedom.

Army

  • Cpl. Jack A. Conner
  • Capt. Joe D. Dobbs
  • Pvt. Douglas O. Foutch
  • Pvt. Charles A. Hoffpauir
  • Pvt. Wesley E. Jordan
  • Sgt. Will A. Maples
  • Pvt. Melvin K. Markham
  • Sgt. Howard L. Massey
  • S/Sgt C. Edward McAlpine
  • Capt. William H. Nation
  • S/Sgt. Delmar M. Pachl
  • S/Sgt. Gustave B. Rahr
  • 1st Lt. Alfred M. Shull
  • Pfc. Marvin E. Wallace
  • Cpl. John B. Wheeler
  • Pvt. Thomas F. Wheeler
  • S/Sgt. Fred O. Wisrock
  • Capt. Paul O. Wofford

Navy

  • Ensign Richard A. Chaney
  • Seaman 1c George Coke, Jr.
  • AMM 3c Marshall Coke, Jr.
  • MM 1c William G. Davis
  • Lt. (j.g.) Harry B. Ditto
  • Seaman 2c Ross Dee Hunt
  • Ensign Robert D. Jones, Jr.
  • Lt. Cmdr. Eugene W. Matlock
  • PhM 3c Franklin J. Moore
  • AMM 2c Richard F. Simpson

Marines

  • Pfc. Francis C. Heath
  • Pfc. John Luther Morgan, Jr.
  • Cpl. Horace W. Parr
  • 1st Lt. John T. Summerhill, Jr.

Army Air Force

  • Sgt. Harold E. Bledsoe
  • S/Sgt. Joe W. Bradford
  • 2nd Lt. Charles F. Birkhead, Jr.
  • 2nd Lt. Hilton H. Bryce
  • Maj. Marshall P. Camp
  • 1st Lt. Wm. Fred Cox, Jr.
  • 1st Lt. Frank W. Gardner
  • Pvt. Jimmy O. Glasgow
  • 1st Lt. Ira Lloyd Gordon
  • Cpl. Louis W. Hayes
  • 2nd Lt. Carlos H. Johns, Jr.
  • Col. Neel E. Kearby
  • T/Sgt. Robert L. McKnight
  • 1st Lt. Kenneth T. Merritt (AVG)
  • 2nd Lt. Burton J. Morton
  • S/Sgt. Linus C. Thomas
  • Maj. Joseph C. Willis, Jr.


The Fielder House Museum Facebook page has a video of the ceremony.
www.facebook.com/FielderHouseMuseum/posts/4228008103929280


For more information about Arlington’s history, visit us at the Fielder House Museum, check out our website, or find us on Facebook.


Blog and photos by Jason S. Sullivan, 06-05-21


This article first appeared in the June/July issue of the Arlington Historical Society newsletter.

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