Paris Junior College student Adam Shrum, Air Force veteran, carries a wreath to lay at the PJC Veterans Memorial
on Friday after a service in memory of students who lost their lives through military service to their country.
Following are students Jerry Livesay, Army veteran, carrying the U.S. flag and
Robert Garrett, Marine Corps veteran, carrying the Texas flag.
PJC Veterans Day Ceremony Allowed WWII Veterans to Meet
Paris Junior College’s Veterans Day ceremony held Friday was highlighted by participation of current veterans who are also PJC students. It also provided an opportunity for Two World War II veterans to meet for the first time. The remembrance ceremony is for former Paris Junior College students who lost their lives during their military service.
World War II veteran Irene Hertsgaard Hunt prior to the Paris Junior College Veterans Day Ceremony.
Now 94, the former Army nurse met another WWII veteran, Charles Davidson Jr., afterwards for the first time.
Irene Hertsgaard Hunt and Charles Davidson Jr. were in the audience, and when introduced afterward, discovered they shipped over to the European Theater a month apart and were stationed near each other, but had never met. Hunt served with the Army Nurses Corps from 1941 to 1948 and retired as a captain. She spent Christmas through New Year of 1943 on the transport to England. Davidson served with the Army’s 29th Infantry Division and landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day. His transport left on January 16, 1944. The two enjoyed a brief chat following the service.
World War II veterans Irene Hertsgaard Hunt (left) and Charles Davidson Jr. (right) meet for the first time at
Paris Junior College’s Veterans Day ceremony on Friday. Hunt’s son, Thomas Hunt III, is in the driver’s seat.
“We have a lot of veterans in our classes,” said PJC History Instructor Allen Williams. “They are great students, great people, and we are glad to have them as part of today’s ceremony.”
PJC students carrying the wreath and colors during the ceremony were Jerry Livesay, an Army veteran from Paris; Robert Garrett, a Marine Corps veteran from Dallas now living in Paris; Adam Shrum, an Air Force veteran from Windom; and Air Force veteran Norris Banks, now living in Paris after leaving Indiana, who played “Taps” on his bugle to signal the end of the service.
“We appreciate all of our veterans,” said Williams, “and all the people who attended the ceremony in their honor.” The veterans’ monument in front of PJC’s Administration Building lists 61 names of those former PJC students who gave their all. Each year the memorial service held in the DeShong Chapel concludes with placing a wreath at its base and the playing of “Taps”.
Paris Junior College student Norris banks, Air Force veteran, plays “Taps” at the conclusion
of the memorial service marking Veterans Day at PJC.