WUFT News

Alachua County Recognizes Local Medal of Honor Recipient Among Korean Vets

By on November 9th, 2013
Kanapaha memorial 1

Ben Baumer / WUFT News

Each year Veterans and Alachua County residents gather at Kanapaha Park to honor those who have served or are serving in our country’s military.

This year will mark the 20th celebration at the Alachua County Veterans Memorial.

Jim Lynch, former Alachua County Veterans Service Office director, will be emceeing the county’s annual Veterans Day event at Kanapaha Park on Monday.

“Each year we identify a specific group, or event and honor them. This year we’re recognizing and honoring our Korean War veterans. ” said Victoria Van Buren, commander of the American Legion Haisley Lynch Post 16.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the cease fire in Korea.

Dick Davis, 84-year-old commander of Gainesville’s Korean War Veterans Association, said it’s an honor to be recognized for his service.

“It’s really special when we get all our vets out there and are given the opportunity to publicly thank them. The thousands that show up show that we live in such a patriot community,” Lynch said.

Starting at 10:30 a.m. Monday the Lincoln Middle School band will begin with a musical tribute. Followed by parachutists from Sky Dive Palatka landing at the park carrying the American flag.

About 20 local Korean War veterans plan attend and be recognized for their contributions during the war including 81-year-old Medal of Honor recipient Cpl. Duane Dewey, a Michigan native who resides half the year in Hawthorne.  The Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military decoration, is awarded for personal acts of valor that go above and beyond the call of duty.

Dewey was a leader of a machine gun squad with Company E, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division. While serving near Panmunjom, Korea, on April 16, 1952, Dewey was receiving medical attention from a pervious fight alongside his assistant gunner when an enemy grenade landed nearby.

He shouted a warning to his fellow marines and flung himself on top of the grenade, personally absorbing the full-force of the explosion and saving his comrades from certain injury and death.  He was the first person to receive the Medal of Honor from President Eisenhower.

“Dewey is an example of a real American hero,” said Davis, “ Since the medal is most often awarded post-humorously this may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet a living legend.”

The Green’s Gavel Club, a junior division of Toastmasters International, will read a patriot poem, followed by a flag folding ceremony by the Milton Lewis Young Marines.

New wreaths made by the American Legion  Haisley Lynch Post 16 will be placed at the base of all of the war monuments.

The Alachua County Veteran’s Memorial was dedicated on Veterans Day, November 11, 1993. The memorial was christened “A Walk Through Time”.

The 14-foot wide and 219-foot long walkway contains 10 granite bases, each representing America’s 10 major wars beginning with the Revolutionary War in 1775. Each foot along the base of the walkway represents one year, while each individual red brick on top of the bases represents 1,000 American lives lost.

The Civil War, the nation’s deadliest war, is represented by 529 bricks, while Operation Desert Storm is about half a brick.

There are plans to adjust the spacing of monuments to make room for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, which would shorten the length of one year represented to eight inches.

The names and dates of each war are etched upon the monument. The ring of black marble around each monument represents the international sign of mourning. The names of those from Alachua County who lost their lives while in service are etched into the monuments upon the memorial.

More than 260 names of local veterans have been written into the granite. Large granite markers alongside the concourse reflect the names of over 500 University of Florida students who died while in service.

After the wreaths are in place, taps will be played by four buglers from the Buchholz High School band, followed by the benediction.


This entry was posted in Local. Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

Adrienne Fagan, a creator of Gainesville Atheist Brunch, checks the event page she created to advertise GAB’s inaugural brunch. GAB aims to create a safe space for atheists to gather and build community.

Atheist Space Creates Community, Eliminates Stigma

A Gainesville woman organizes brunch for locals to discuss atheism and to provide a community for fellow atheists.


Winford-Jenkins-Trash

Hawthorne Volunteer Trash Collector A Fixture In Community

When a doctor recommended he get more exercise, Hawthorne resident Winford Jenkins, 57, began taking daily walks around the city. After noticing just how much trash cluttered the streets, he decided to do something about it.


Assistant Fire Chief JoAnne Rice inspects an emergency exit sign outside her office at Gainesville Fire Rescue. Proper lighting, signage and open doorways are critical mainstays of a compliant fire inspection.

Majority Of Fire Inspections Don’t Check Out

The newest data on Gainesville’s statGNV shows that over half of all existing buildings in Gainesville received some type of violation. These violations include broken emergency exit signs, incorrect outlet cover plates and untested sprinkler systems.


12 Residents Seek Shelter After Explosion At Southwest Villas Apartment

An explosion at Southwest Villas on Thursday night displaced 12 residents. The cause of the explosion is unknown.


For three months, 35-year-old Sisco Black and his wife have been homeless. When they first came to Grace Marketplace, they relied heavily on the amenities, but now they have become self-sufficient.

Grace Marketplace Completes Homeless Census

The usual sound of birds wasn’t what woke the residents of Grace Marketplace Thursday morning. Grace Marketplace, 2845 NE 39th Ave., held their annual homeless census count on Thursday that lasted from 5:45 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Alachua County Coalition for the […]


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments