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The Monument in Tuxedo, NC
On Sunday May 26, 2013 in the small one time cotton mill community of Tuxedo, NC located in Henderson County a Memorial Day event was held to honor all our veterans. The event was well planned and veterans from all wars were recognized for their service. This article is about the monument that honors WWII veterans.
In 1947 the owners of Green River Mill under the leadership of CEO R W Boys and the residents of Green River Township a granite slab was purchased and a bronze plaque made containing all the names of the area veterans who had served and died in WWII. A huge celebration was held at the community ball field and the monument dedicated by area ministers and dignitaries. For a small textile community in a rural mountain community, this was a big event.
Originally, the monument was placed on a burn near the community center which has since been razed and now a parking lot for Tuxedo First Baptist Church. The monument was moved to its current location across from the Tuxedo Community Store in the mid 1950's which at the time was still property of the Boy's family. The store and property has been sold a couple of times since the Green River Mill closed and sold to J P Stevens. The store and property now belongs to Ken Allen and his wife. The monument stands as a stoic reminder for all of us who have our roots in this small community.
As a boy I remember walking home from school to our house within the mill village passing each afternoon by the store and Post Office (both in the same building) and occasionally stopping by the water fountain to get a drink of water. The fountain was directly in front of the monument only a few feet away. I would walk over to the monument and read the names. I knew most of the men whose names were on the monument. Listed in alphabetical order, my dad's name was in the first column along with his brothers who had served in WWII. Sadly and for unknown reasons, some names were omitted when the bronze plaque was created. Efforts to add additional names of some who were omitted is currently being looked into and hopefully will be added as an addition to the monument.
As I would read those names, I felt a sense of pride and was thankful that so many from our little community had done so much to insure my freedom. Most of the names on the monument reflect names that now appear on grave markers and only a sparse few remain alive. The monument in Tuxedo will always serve the purpose intended to remind me and others that when the freedoms we enjoy are in peril, it is the men and women serving in our armed forces who will carry the torch and defend those principles won in the American Revolution. Some names on the monument were especially worth noting. Names with stars indicating they had died in action while defending our freedom.
All across America, small towns and communities will pay special tribute on this Memorial Day. May we never forget or take for granted the cost of freedom and those who defend.