Gene Carrillo, one of the engravers for Worthen Memorials from Albuquerque,
New Mexico, puts the final touches on a name, as the first names are engraved
Monday afternoon, on the Hopkins County Veterans' Memorial.
"More than a Name on a Wall..."
by: Bobby McDonald
"More than a name on a wall"..........for some reason these lyrics from a 1970's Statler Brothers' song by the same name came to mind, as I sat on the downtown square, late Monday afternoon, watching the engravers from Worthen Memorials, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, put the final touches on the first names to go on the Hopkins County Veterans' Memorial. These are our fathers, grandfathers, uncles, cousins, neighbors......each individual name has their own story!
"This is the best we can do!" expressed Veterans' Memorial Committee Members Mike and Pam Elliott, as we visited, while watching the engraving, and the sun sat on the beautiful downtown area, that will be a living memorial to the men and women from Hopkins County, who have defended our freedoms. "And, hopefully those names will encourage the children, grandchildren, friends, family, and associates to go back and find out who these heroes really were, and the major contributions they've made to not only their own families, but to the preservation of our country and freedoms!"
Pat Doughtery, Gene Carillo, John Paul Fay and Loren Worthen, from Albuquerque, New Mexico's Worthen Memorials, began the task of engraving and sandblasting the over 3,000 names that will be "etched in stone" on the memorial, Monday afternoon, as we watched. Each of these names represents a hero that has made it possible for each of us to live a life of freedom and peace, here in Hopkins County and America.
Naturally, the "bulk" of the names are World War II veterans, that I described in a 2000 era story as "hardened Hopkins County farm boys, who had grown up in the cotton patch, and traveled the world protecting our freedoms." But, there are their sons who served in Vietnam, their dads that served in WWI, and yes, their grandsons and granddaughters that have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. My family, like many others, are represented by three and four generations, on the wall, that is a living tribute, to these heroes, as long as we "keep the stories alive" and continue to remember them and their sacrifices!
I've collected a number of these stories, from "letters back home," from service records, and family stories, that we will be sharing with you, from now through the dedication of the memorial, at the end of this month. But, if you have a special story about someone, who is included on the wall, please e-mail them to me! I can't promise you that all of them will be printed, but we will include as many as we can, and they can be used to keep those memories alive! E-mail me at email@example.com.