UDC recognizes veterans Saturday at the library
SALISBURY — The public is being invited to a patriotic service at 1 p.m. Saturday when the Robert F. Hoke Chapter No. 78, United Daughters of the Confederacy, will honor 11 veterans who served in World War II to the Vietnam War and whose ancestors served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.
The event will take place in the Stanback Auditorium of the Rowan Public Library.
Government flags and those of the branches of service will be displayed and used in photos after the service. Patriotic paintings by artist John Hartley, who has exhibited some of his works at the Price of Freedom Museum in Rowan County, will be on display.
The Hoke Chapter also will display images of the UDC medals for veterans including the Southern Cross of Honor as well as images of the Confederate Monument on West Innes Street in 1909.
The Chapter will be concluding on Saturday its drive to collect personal care items for the hospitalized veterans at the Hefner VA Medical Center in Salisbury. If anyone attending the patriotic service would like to add shampoo, liquid soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste or other personal care products to this donation, they are asked to bring these prior to the service.
The chapter has two members who sit on the VA Voluntary Service Committee.
Jefferson Davis Historical Gold Medal recipient Ed Curtis will present a short talk on Confederate Memorial Day and Veterans of Today. Curtis is a U.S. Navy veteran and retired veterans employment representative with the N.C. Employment Security Commission.
In 1992, he received a Cross of Military Service at the N.C. Division Convention of the UDC held in Salisbury. His great-great grandfather, Edward Jesse Bray, enlisted at Randolph County in March 1862 and served in Co. G, 46th North Carolina Infantry until dying of disease in May 1864.
Hoke Chapter President Sue Curtis and Recorder of Military Service Awards Nancy Sloop will bestow the awards using the UDC Ritual.
Members Sandra Boyer, Trudy Hall, Linda Davis, Dianne Hall, Barbara Upright, Chris Hilton and Anne Saunders will assist in the program. Special guests from Concord will be Carolyn Griffin and N.C. Division President Lois Marlow.
Patriotic music will be presented by the Windsong Recorder Ensemble, pianist Gwen Sembroski and soloist Valerie Lloyd.
The following individuals will be awarded medals:
• Walter Trantham Elium, Jr., who lived in Salisbury and served in the U.S. Army as a corporal in self-propelled gun and reconnaissance, will be recognized posthumously with a World War II Meritorious Service Medal. His great-great uncle was James Adam Parker who enlisted at Iredell County in August 1862 and served in Company E, 7th NC Infantry until killed in action in May 1864 at Spotsylvania Court House, Va.
• Robert E. Hartley of Salisbury, who served in the U.S. Army as a corporal in the 188th Parachute Regiment, 11th Airborne Division, will receive a World War II Cross of Military Service. His great-grandfather was Peter Thomas Monroe who enlisted in Rowan County in March 1862 and served in 2nd Co. B, 42nd NC Infantry until he was released as a POW in June 1865 at Newport News, Va.
• Ralph Guy Hendren of Kannapolis, who served in the U.S. Air Force as an airman First Class in the Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron, will receive a Korean War Cross of Military Service. His great-great grandfather was William Thomas Barber who enlisted at Forsyth County in March 1864 and served in Co. B, 57th NC Infantry until his death in July 1864.
• Stephen Lee Lambert of China Grove, who served in the U.S. Air Force as a sergeant in the 408 Munitions Maintenance Squadron, will receive a Vietnam Conflict Cross of Military Service. His great-great-great grandfather was John Price Lambert, who enlisted at Buchanan County, Va., in July 1863 and served in Co. I, 10th KY Cav. Regiment.
• Clarence Grant Lawson, who lived in Kannapolis and served in the U.S. Navy as a seaman first class in the USS Landing Craft Infantry 472, will be recognized posthumously with a World War II Cross of Military Service. His great-great grandfather was William J.R. Murdock, who enlisted at Orange County in May 1862 and served in Co. D, 56th NC Infantry until he was released as a POW in June 1865 at Point Lookout, Md.
• John Erwin Ramsay Jr. of Raleigh, who served in the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant JG on the USS Archturus, will receive a Vietnam Conflict National Defense Medal. His great-grandfather was John Andrew Ramsay, who enlisted at Rowan County in May 1861 and served in Co. D, 10th NC State Troops (1st Regiment Artillery) until June 1865.
• Robert William Reynolds of Kannapolis, who served in the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant in the Air Transport Squadron 22, will receive a Vietnam Conflict Cross of Military Service. His great-great grandfather was David Lilly Bozeman, who enlisted at Pleasant Hill, Ala., in March 1862 and served in Co. A, 44th Regiment Ala. Volunteers until killed in action in May 1864 at Spotsylvania, Va.
• Kirby Alan Ritchie of Salisbury, who served in the U.S. Army as a specialist 4th class in the 116th Transportation, Co. A, will receive a Vietnam Conflict Cross of Military Service. His great-great grandfather was William Norall Ritchie, who enlisted at Cabarrus County in July 1862 and served in Co. F, 57th NC Infantry until he died as a POW in March 1864 at Point Lookout, Md.
• Hayden Curtis Simmerson of Salisbury, who served in the U.S. Army as a captain in the Military Assistance Command Vietnam, will receive a Vietnam Conflict Cross of Military Service. His great-great grandfather was Peter Thomas Monroe, who enlisted at Rowan County in March 1862 and served in 2nd Co. B, 42nd NC Infantry until he was released as a POW in June 1865 at Newport News, Va.
• Braxton Lathan Starnes of Kannapolis, who served in the U.S. Army as a Tech 4 in the Headquarters Company, 3rd Army Division, Germany, will receive a World War II Cross of Military Service. His great-great grandfather was Thomas R. Starnes who enlisted at Union County in September 1863 and served in Co. H, 30th NC Infantry until April 1865.
• Henry Kyle Watterson of Kannapolis, who served in the U.S. Navy as a seaman on the USS Forrestal, will receive a Vietnam Conflict National Defense Medal. His great-great grandfather was John Green Pittman, who enlisted at Georgia in May 1862 and served in Co. E, Ga. 34th Infantry until he was released as a POW in June 1865 at Camp Chase, Ohio.
The bestowal of UDC medals to veterans dates back to 1898 when the UDC resolved that every Confederate veteran should receive a medal now known as “The Southern Cross of Honor.” The small bronze medals were in the shape of a Maltese Cross and were to be worn only by Confederate veterans. The first was bestowed in 1900, and by 1913, there were 78,761 awarded. The last was presented posthumously to Rear Admiral Raphael Semmes, CSN, in 1959.
In 1922 the UDC commenced recognizing lineal descendants of Confederate veterans who themselves served during a war period.
Among the well-known veterans who have received medals from the UDC are Gen. John A. LeJeune, Gen. Omar N. Bradley, Col. Joseph E. Wheeler, Col. Warren J. Davis, Rear Adm. Thomas P. Magruder, 2nd Lt. George E. Pickett III, Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr., Maj. Alvin C. York, Capt. James E. Brown Stuart II, Vice Admiral Fitzhugh Lee III, Col. Edmund Kirby-Smith, Rear Adm. Beverly Mosby Coleman, and Gen. William C. Westmoreland.