2012-12-19 / Local News

Library tree honors military service members

By Jennifer Archibald Staff writer


‘Our Heroes’ Tree’ Flora Public Library is taking part in the national initiative called “Our Heroes’ Tree,” honoring service men and women and their families. Community members were asked to submit photo ornaments, representing family members who have served or are serving their country. Comet photo by Jennifer Archibald ‘Our Heroes’ Tree’ Flora Public Library is taking part in the national initiative called “Our Heroes’ Tree,” honoring service men and women and their families. Community members were asked to submit photo ornaments, representing family members who have served or are serving their country. Comet photo by Jennifer Archibald Flora Public Library enlisted the help of the community in decorating a tree with photo ornaments of family members who have served or are serving in the military.

The display is part of a national initiative called “Our Heroes’ Tree.” It promotes awareness of the service and sacrifice of U.S. service members and their families.

Besides making an ornament, some local residents also submitted information about their family members’ service. These accounts are preserved in a booklet that is displayed beside the tree.

The introduction to the booklet says, “We salute our men and women in service to America and all the veterans who have served their country. All gave some, some gave all.”

A sample of the entries is given below.

Marion Hathaway served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was assigned to the LST ship 682 for the Invasion of France (D-Day). The ship completed 64 crossings of the English Channel. From there they went to the Asiatic Pacific for the Liberation of the Philippine Islands and the Okinawa invasion.

Joseph Richard “Dick” Daly fought in the Korean War and World War II. He received a Bronze Medal in World War II. As a medic, he carried a heavy pack of medical supplies across the Rhine River, during intense enemy fire. He settled in Delphi, and he and his wife, Julia, had nine children.

The “MacLauchlan Family military heritage” lists 14 service members. One of those named is Phyllis D.S. Gray, who served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. She worked in intelligence and was the first female colonel in the U.S. Air Force.

One of the ornaments on the tree is a group photo. Nine men are pictured and named under the title, “Valley View Baptist Church Heroes.”

At last count, the tree had 15 ornaments. The library expects this to be an annual project, and hopes the tree “grows.”

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