On a picture perfect Friday, residents of Navarro County gathered on the footsteps of the court house and paid tribute to those who have served this nation marking Veterans Day.

Memorial committee member Tim Easley began by reading a passage of a proclamation written by President George W. Bush.

“Through their commitment to freedom, America’s veterans have lifted millions of lives and made our country and the world more secure.”

Easley shared a story about Western Navarro County former resident Marvin Foster. Easley spend countless hours researching Foster’s life and the terrible plane crash that eventually killed him.

More than 1,827 soldiers are unaccounted for from the Vietnam war. Since the end of conflict, 756 have been accounted for with new technology. Foster’s body was one of them and was returned home in July of this year. Easley recalled the passionate search that consumed him for nearly a half-decade.

Joe Hambrick, a purple heart medal recipient in W.W.II, was on hand for the celebration. “He is well known in this area having worked for the U.S. Postal service for 26 years,” Easley said.

Charles Harrison was in France for W.W.II and earned an E.T.O Ribbon, 1 star, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, Good Conduct Medal and a Valor Medal. Given the nickname Santa Claus, he was always there to help, Easley said.

Leslie Cotton served in Vietnam and serves on the War Memorial Committee in his native Corsicana.

Easley was overcome with emotion while acknowledging Larry Whitener. “Larry was my Sunday School teacher,” he recalled. “He fought in Vietnam and suffered from PTSD.” Whitemer took his own life, an effect of the psychiatric disorder, Easley said.

Easley thanked all in attendance, and Les Grayson played taps while the Navarro County Color Guard did a 21 gun salute.

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AJ Narasimhan can be reached via e-mail at ajn@corsicanadailysun.com

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