To the Family Members of:
Olin C. Atkins Lawson F. Bryant
Willie H. Collins Harvey Hester
Morea A. Golden Earl I. Cliett
Perry D. Gray James R. Palmer
Charles L. Hammett Lem C. Hammett
William L Braswell Alonzo . McCrory
John L. Rehberg
In 1919, Armistice Day was first celebrated as an anniversary to the end of World War I, the war that was supposed to be the end of all wars. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month we honor those men and women who served and gave all for freedom. Recognizing this sacred act, Congress changed it from a celebration of the end of WWI to a national holiday honoring all veterans in 1936. Yet sixteen years earlier, Laura Pope Forester, a woman whose love for her family, her community and her country grounded and inspired her, formed and sculpted her own memorial to the men from Grady County who died during that war. Your ancestor is carved onto the marble slab of this nearly century old memorial at Pope’s Museum.
While is likely that you have only heard stories of this forefather of your family, it is our family’s conviction that gratitude crosses generations and extends across time. Therefore, we want to say thank you and we are sorry for your loss. In losing a grandfather, an uncle or a father in war you lost someone who could have taken you fishing, shown you how throw a curve-ball or how to know when you meet “Mr. Right”. Our entire community and nation lost as well. This week, as we say thank you to all veterans, Pope’s Museum is proud to say that the WWI memorial where your ancestor is honored is still standing strong. The restoration is nearly completed. This is because our community has not forgotten that freedom is bought with the blood of its heroes.
Dan and Michelle Dean