‘Here I am, send me’

Published 4:42 pm Tuesday, May 28, 2024

It was a beautiful morning for the Memorial Day program held Monday at the Jefferson Davis County Courthouse. The welcome was given by Prentiss Mayor Charley Dumas. “We not only remember the names written on our monument, but those on tombstones around our country in military graveyards and those countless number of unmarked graves that have sacrificed and served our country,” said Prentiss Mayor Charley Dumas.

The Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem were then led by Sgt. Joe Bridges, followed by the introduction of the guest speaker, Col. Mike Thornton, Ret.

Thornton served in the United States Marine Corps. and the Mississippi Army National Guard.

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During his military career, he has served not only in Mississippi, but also in Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Kuwait and Iraq. He has earned the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and the Meritorious Service Medal with 5 Oak Leaf Clusters as well as many other awards and decorations for meritorious service and achievement. He has also earned the Combat Infantry’s Badge, The Ranger Tab and the Army Parachutist Badge.

Thornton gave a history of Memorial Day, and how it was first observed in Columbus on April 25, 1866. He told personal recounts of his days in the service.

He concluded with his favorite Bible verse from Isaiah 6:8: “I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then said I, ‘Here am I; send me.'”

Chellie Payne followed with the reading of the names of the soldiers from Jefferson Davis County killed in action as flags were placed at the monument by SFC Bridges and Jimmy Kerley.

Those killed in action in WWI were: Pvt. Howard E. Rush, Pvt. Virgil E. McNease, Pfc Henry T. Bullock. Lt. W.R. “Bill” McNeese, Usn Clyde C. Thompson, Pfc Willard H. Holloway, Sgt. Gordon L. Tyrone, Pvt. Louis E. Livingston, Cpl. Bill Slater, Sgt. Garland Broome, Pvt. William E. Burkett, Ssg. Victor E. Bullock, Cpl. Irving J. MacIntosh and Pvt. Billy Magee were all killed in WWII.

Killed in the Korean Conflict were: Pfc. Charles P. Burns, Msg. John Roland McInnis, Pvt. Winfred Dillon and Ssg. Robert D. Hall. Pfc. Paul V. Harrington, Lcpl. Billie A. Allen, Pfc. James E. Weathersby, Pfc. Daniel Reese Jr., Sgt. Alexander A. Peoples and Cwo. James A. Morris Jr. were killed in Vietnam.

Prisoners of war from WWII were Pvt. Samuel L. Raynes, Pvt. Earl Roberts, Ssg. Ralph Brinson, Sgt. George W. Thurman, Cpt. Morgan A. Whitfield, Sgt. Claude L. Burkett and Pfc. Willie J. Thompson. Cpl. Nathaniel Booth was a prisoner of war during the Korean Conflict.

Killed in the line of duty in WWII were Lt. R.C. Jones Jr., Sgt. Edwin McNeil, Cpl. M.L. Applewhite, Msg. James Bryan Sutton, Ssg. Sam Hathorn, Pfc. Joe E. Norton and Lt. Joe Robert Mallard.

Sp4 Marvin L. Hall was killed in the line of duty during the Vietnam War.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, a wreath was placed at the monument followed by the playing of Taps.

The Memorial Day service was coordinated by the Jefferson Davis County Veterans Affairs office and the Town of Prentiss.

ience and we are proud to be a part of it. This is definitely a place that needs to be on your Mississippi Bucket List,” she said.

Perry lives in Columbia and is the author of four fictional novels. Her articles and stories have appeared in numerous travel magazines and newspapers throughout the southeast. At NHAC, Perry teaches Mississippi Studies, World Geography and American History and serves as campus Athletic Director. She is also a member of the Principal’s Leadership Team.

Lowe is a 1998 graduate of Prentiss Christian School. She captures everything that is the Magnolia State through her photography lens. When not traveling, her family keeps her busy on their farm in Lawrence County. At NHAC, Lowe is GATE teacher, State Test Coordinator, cheer coach, School Improvement Team Coordinator and a member of the Principal’s Leadership Team.

“I grew up in Columbia but went to school at PC,” said Lowe. “I would have never thought Bassfield would be able to support a distillery. But Beaver Creek has a huge support system, not only in Jefferson Davis County, but in surrounding communities as well,” she said. “We are grateful for the opportunity to sign 100 Things to do in Mississippi Before you Die there.”

Books will be available for purchase Saturday at the Distillery for $22. They can also be purchased on reedypress.com.

Beaver Creek Distillery is at 96 George W. King Road in Bassfield. For more information, visit beavercreek-distillery.com or call 769-239-0410.