Serving and Remembering
BRUNDIDGE, Ala. (WBRC) - The official observance of Veterans Day is Thursday, November 11, 2021 an observance which began in our state where the oldest Veterans Day Parade in the country is held in Birmingham each year. But in small towns like Brundidge, they remember and continue to serve Veterans year-round through The American Legion, an organization long dedicated to Veterans.
Post Commander Neil Thrasher explains the history of the Legion, “It was formed outside Paris in 1919 and its Veterans still serving America. This Post was chartered in 1945 in Brundidge. We are honor guards for funerals. We’ve helped widows, disabled Veterans. You name it, we’ve done it. We’re bell ringers at Salvation Army. We’re blood donors. We clean abandoned cemeteries at no charge because there’s nobody to give us any money for it. So, we do it out of love for the Veterans.”
Inside the post there is a Wall Of Honor for area Veterans. Thrasher remembers the names by heart and in the order in which they hang on the wall, “Bill Blair, local, killed in World War Two, Buford Brown from Troy, killed in Korea. The next five were killed in Viet Nam and then we have the picture of Joshua Watson from Enterprise who was murdered down at Pensacola Naval Air Station. The next few rows, a few of them are still with us but most of them have passed.”
The Hall also commemorates famous battles and heroes including other sites in our state which visitors can see in person, “A good example of that is Battleship Park in Mobile where you can see the USS Alabama, one of the last battleships from World War 2. The USS Drum, a World War 2 submarine, is there. At one time it was almost scrapped, and some dedicated Veterans down there would not let that happen.”
And at the American Legion in Brundidge they also take great pride in what even a small community can accomplish in remembering, “It’s just a unique place that we’re very proud of and we give the grand tour to anybody that has a little time every chance we get to try to keep the history alive, keep the memories of the men who served and now the ladies who are serving. And as long as we have breath, we will never let that die,” says Thrasher.
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