Call to order and opening remarks- Larry D. Clark, Chairman of
the Halifax County War Memorial Commission
Presentation of the national, state, county and POW - MIA flags
by the following people:
• O.B. "John" Tate will present the national flag on behalf of the Woodmen of the World Lodge 106.
• Delegate Clarke N. Hogan will present the state flag.
• Honorable David Martin will present the county flag on behalf of
the Halifax County Board of Supervisors.
• The POW - MIA flag will be presented by Bill Kelehar, plant manager of the Annin Flag Company and a Vietnam Veteran.
National Anthem by the Halifax County High School band under the direction of Martha W. Stevens.
There was a flyover by two F117 stealth fighter planes from Halloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. The flyover approached from U.S. 501 south.
Following the flyover, everyone was asked to remain standing for the invocation by Brig. General B. W. Scearce, Jr.
The following individuals were recognized for their support of
• Honorable Virgil Goode - U. S. House of Representatives.
• Maj. General Claude Williams - Adjutant General of the Virginia National representing Gov. Mark Warner.
• Honorable Clarke N. Hogan - Virginia General Assembly.
• Honorable David Martin - Chairman of the Halifax County Board
• Mrs. Nancy Lee Bagwell - representing the Halifax Woman's Club who very generously purchased and donated the park site to the county.
• Lt. General Ted Rees, retired USAF, who arranged the F117 flyover.
• Brodnax Robertson III who conceived the idea of the Halifax County War Memorial.
• A. C. Joyner - representing Memorial Design and Sales, Wilson NC, who has worked closely with the Commission Design Committee on the monument.
• Ed Wilson and Ganz Wilson - representing Caroline Cast Stone Company, Greensboro, N.C., who worked with Joe L. Chandler and Jack Dunavant on the construction and placement of the columns and dome.
• Jim Brown, Zeb Hoffman, Naomi Powell, John Ranson, representing Dewberry and Davis, who designed the War Memorial Park.
• Maj. General Carroll Thackston, the retired Adjutant General of the Virginia National Guard will introduce the guest speaker, the Honorable John 0. Marsh, Jr.
The Halifax County War Memorial was unveiled by local D-Day veterans Jim Adams, Bill Akers, Allan Moorefield, Pete Myers, Lawson Osborne.
• Memorial wreaths were placed by American Legion Posts 8 and 99 and VFW Post 8243.
• 21 Gun Salute - American Legion Post 8 Honor Guard (please stand).
• TAPS by Stephen Harmon, Halifax County High School band member.
• Benediction by Rev. Mattie Carr, Fifth District American Legion Auxiliary Chaplain and Associate Pastor of Banister Hill Baptist Church.
Gazette-Virginian, May 27, 2003
Black Stealth fighters sliced through gray clouds Sunday
afternoon, opening a day of tribute to 727 of our county's fallen
"We come here as pilgrims on a day of homage," former
Secretary of the Army John Marsh told the crowd gathered at War
Memorial Park in Halifax.
Climaxing the ceremony was the unveiling of the black granite
monument bearing the names of those who have died in our nation's
"Only mankind has a sense of history, a contribution from
the Divine that makes us unique..." said Marsh.
Generals, soldiers, veterans, political dignitaries and county
residents packed War Memorial Park to honor those men.
D-Day veterans who stormed the beaches at Normandy in WWII were
given the honor of unveiling the monument, a project seven years
in the making.
Two groups of people were singled out for recognition by Marsh,
the D-Day Veterans and also the mother of Col. William Watkins
who was killed in action in Iraq last month.
"Time and events have brought us here to pay tribute to
the past and honor those whose sacrifices have benefited us,"
He quoted the prophet Isaiah:
"Who will go for us?
"Whom shall I send.
"And the youth responds,
"Here, am I.
Eight generations of Halifax County residents answered that call
of public service, observed Marsh.
The former Secretary of the Army suggested that the War Memorial
could be a learning experience for generations to come.
It was a theme Nancy Lee Bagwell, former president of the Halifax
Woman's Club, also cited.
"Each time we pass or walk by this special place, we will
remember," she said.
"We will remember the ultimate sacrifice of our families
and loved ones. When we bring our children and sit and visit
with them, we will remember.
"And we will teach them to remember and we will tell them
about this wonderful place in which we live, this small, this
strong and incredibly gentle and determined place. A place totally
committed to make this day happen."
Marsh addressed the change in warfare post September 11, 2001.
He warned that terrorists "are seeking a paralysis of fear
in America," but he said they would not win.
"We must never forget, at our peril, the importance that
this country maintain its lead in technology. It is absolutely
essential for our country's survival," he added.
Marsh told the crowd that when he first saw the monument he was
struck by its beauty ...
War Memorial Commission Chairman Larry Clark agreed.
"What I hope is this will be a place where all the people
of Halifax County will be comfortable and visit and reflect on
the sacrifices of those persons listed on the Memorial.
"I am proud of the War Commission and the work that was
done over a period of time stretching from Veterans Day 1997
to Memorial Day, 2003."
Both Clark and Bagwell praised the hours of toil necessary to
erect the monument to Halifax County's fallen heroes.
The Halifax Woman's Club and the War Memorial Commission raised
over $400,000 for the property and the memorial.