On a chilly yet sunny day, perhaps a few more than 100 souls ventured out to a remote section (in Trousdale County, Tennessee) of the Cumberland River, 10 miles north of Lebanon, at Averitt’s Ferry, to honor 21 U. S. Army veterans of World War II, who perished in that river, seventy years ago this very day.
The sister of one of the fallen was on hand along with several dignitaries from Wilson County, who assisted retired U. S. Army Colonel Jerry Mc Farland, and author Woody McMillan (author of In the Presence of Soldiers http:// tennesseemaneuvers.wordpress.com/about/), to honor the 21 soldiers who drown attempting a cross of the river on a stormy night in early Spring of 1944. Assisted by the Boy Scouts of America, and a contingent of active U. S. Army reservists, and led by the crisp and elegantly attired Honor Guard of the American Legion Post 281, of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, all paid their respects to the memory of these brave lads who died on maneuvers that fateful night.
Young men (19 to 28 years of age) sent to war because of evil aggression overseas, from 10 different states, went into the Cumberland to make a river assault, and perished. The last victim was pulled from the Cumberland River at the Broadway area of downtown Nashville, one month later, and 81 nautical miles from where he first went into the cold and swollen river.
The National Anthem, Taps and a volley of honoring fire By American Legion, Tyler Cates Post 281, aided the somber ceremony. Honoring veterans is never out of fashion. We owe so very much to veterans of all branches of the U. S. armed forces, who offered their life in harm’s way, for the preservation of peace for America. This ceremony was a perfect example of how America can remember..!
PIO, Tyler Cates American Legion Post 281 Mt Juliet, TN
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