ELIZABETHTOWN — Members of the Elizabethtown and Bladenboro Rotary clubs came together to honor Bladen County World War II veterans on Wednesday at Cape Fear Vineyard & Winery, and U.S. Congfressman Robert Pittenger presented each veteran with an American flag.
“Bladen County has been both blessed and enriched by the contributions of these men, the veterans of World War II,” Rotarian Erin Smith said in her invocation to the veterans.
Rotarian Kent Packer did the Pledge of Allegiance and Anna Clark Sang the National Anthem.
Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy conducted the drill and ceremony in front of both rotary clubs and the veterans.
The Elizabethtown and Bladenboro Rotary clubs offered the veterans medallions, baseball caps, and certifications.
The veterans who were honored included:
Clifford Allen, Private First Class, United States Army; Jasper D. Evans, Motor Machinist Mate Third Class, United States Navy; Johnnie W. Evans, Technician Fifth Grade, United States Army; Richard J. Frady, Sr., Pharmacist’s Mate, United States Navy; William J. Hair, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate, United States Navy; James R. Heath, Seaman First Class, United States Army; Rufus Kendrick Hester, Technician Fifth Grade, United States Army; James Rudolph Inman, Private First Class, United States Army; Fletcher Kemp, Staff Sergeant (E-5), United States Army Air Forces; Bartram Moore Jr., United States Army; Robert Simmons, Seaman First Class, United States Navy; Edward M. Wallace, Seaman First Class, United States Navy; Robert A. White, Sergeant, United States Army; Harry G. Womble, Private, United States Army; and James W. Wooten, Metalsmith Third Class, United States Navy.
Congressman Pittenger and Congressman David Rouzer attended the ceremony to honor the veterans and give them certifications.
“It is a great great honor to be here today,” Rouzer said. He thanked the gentlemen for their service, sacrifice, and dedication.
“I am presenting to you thanks. Thank you for your courage, for your valor,” Pittenger said to the veterans. He also presented them with flags for their service in World War II.
The two congressman walked down the line of veterans, shaking each of their hands and personally thanking them.
Rotarian Darrell Page closing remarks before the reception. According to Page, the Rotary Clubs have been working on this ceremony since January.
“They haven’t received the recognition they should,” Page said in response to why the Rotary Club was conducting the event. He felt that now was the best time to thank the Bladen County Veterans for their contribution to World War II.
“This is a critical time for our military,” Page added. “Events like this help highlight our heroes. I think it was a very successful event, we invited 15 veterans and 13 showed up. Just getting them here was a success.”
Page said the team of Rotarians who put the event together did a good job and were a great team. The two clubs came together to help identify all of the veterans who attended this event. He is making sure that the two veterans who could not attend the event will get all of their gifts.
Brendaly Vega is a summer intern for the Bladen Journal from UNCP. She can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.