Eclectic residents mark Memorial DayPublished 6:10pm Saturday, June 1, 2013
There were tears and fond remembrances Monday, as Eclectic honored the sacrifice of the nation’s veterans.
Resident Anita Holley laid flowers next to the name of her late husband Clyde, an Air Force veteran of the Vietnam War who passed away earlier this year.
Byron Holley laid a few bright red blooms next to the names of his brothers.
“They stepped up for us, and stood in our place, so that we may have better lives in freedom,” Stephanie Lantz, a new resident and member of Eclectic the Beautiful, said in her keynote address.
Lantz took time to praise those who served in each branch of the nation’s armed forces, including the Navy, Army, Marines, Air Force, National Guard and Coast Guard.
“Our country is one of only a few that take time to honor their veterans,” she said, “but it’s vital we show our thanks to those who answered their nation’s call.”
Lantz’s husband Jason recently retired as an Airman First Class with the Navy. Stephanie said her family’s military history goes back decades, including her grandfather’s service on the USS South Dakota during World War II.
She said she felt honored when organizer Jeanne Osborne asked her to give the speech.
Another name read was that of Charles Ralph Gantt Sr., the late grandfather of Elmore County High graduate Chad Spriggs. Spriggs crossed Kowaliga Road with a small bouquet to honor his grandfather, whose nearby home Spriggs is in the process of renovating.
Joe Teague recalled the Sunday morning, 62 years ago Monday, that he and four other Eclectic residents left home to begin basic training in the U.S. Navy. They had graduated from Elmore County High just four days before they took the oath to join up.
Teague, Donald Ledbetter, Andrew Colley, Fletcher Haynie and Wendell Culpepper’s names are among those carved on the wall. The veterans memorial lists Eclectic men and women brave enough to serve their country in time of war over the last 150 years or more.
It was established and is maintained by members of Eclectic the Beautiful. As they cleaned up Monday afternoon, Osborne and fellow member Patty Dunson were pondering another extension.