On May 29, veterans of World War II can finally reflect on a memorial built in their honor.
Thomas Hovis, a native of Lincoln County who lives in Virginia, plans on attending the dedication ceremony in Washington DC, and he hopes to bring a piece of his hometown with him.
â€œIâ€™d be more than happy to take the names of any World War II veterans in Lincoln County,â€ Thomas said.
Thomas already plans on bringing the names of his father and uncle who are both veterans. The names will be put into the memorial archives.
Thomas was brought up with stories of World War II. His uncle, Bill Hovis who still lives in Lincoln County, remembers Thomas being fascinated with a picture of his former Navy ship.
Thomasâ€™ father also shared his experiences. He made sure his son understood the gravity of the war.
When Thomas was only five he attended a funeral with his father for a soldier who died during World War II.
â€œ(My father) told me, â€˜I wanted you to see the price that these veterans paid for your freedom.â€™â€
â€œThat always stuck with me, and I guess Iâ€™m kind of picking up the tradition in the best way I could.â€
Thomasâ€™ aunt and uncle both think its about time that World War II veterans were honored with a monument.
â€œWhy have they waited so long to do a memorial?â€ asked Mary Hovis, Thomasâ€™ aunt. â€œSo many people have passed on. They should receive this recognition.â€
Bill Hovis has many stories of the two years he spent as a young man in the Navy.
â€œYou have some good times. You have some serious times,â€ said Bill.
During his two years of service, Bill escorted merchant ships from New York to England. On one of the trips he witnessed a ship explode after it was attacked by a submarine.
â€œBefore that you think everything is all right,â€ said Bill. â€œI was young. I didnâ€™t realize the situation.â€
Looking back now, he still appreciates all of those who fought with him to protect his country.
He is glad the World War II memorial will finally be dedicated.
â€œThere are a lot of soldiers that deserve that more than I,â€ said Bill. â€œThere are a lot of them that lost their lives.â€
At the end of May Billâ€™s nephew will take a backpack with him to Washington D.C. full of old letters written during the war and the names of veterans.
In the backpack will include the entire crew on his fatherâ€™s ship. He also hopes to add a number of names from Lincoln County.Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 4852 Corner Stone Court in Fairfax Virginia, zip code 22030.by Sarah Grano