THEN AND NOW
By: By June Kemp
A few weeks ago, my uncle stopped by my home to show me a shadowbox on which he was working. It was designed to contain pictures and memorabilia of three generations of Harris men who had served their country in the military. His father and my grandfather, Eulas S. Harris, had served from May 1918 to May 1919 during World War I. He had received his basic training at Camp Pike, Ark., and then served active duty in France.
I have been told that he and my grandmother had made plans to marry and that he had even bought their marriage license just prior to his receiving his “letter of greetings from Uncle Sam.” The story goes that he just threw the license into the fire, stating that he didn’t want to get married before going off to war and maybe leaving her a widow. They did get married shortly after he returned from his tour of duty. Another story was told that he had carried a “buckeye” with him for good luck. It must have worked as he returned home safely.
Of the three sons born to my grandparents, Gerald served in World War II and Rex and John served in the Korean conflict. Grandson Kerry, who is an active member of the National Guard, has served tours of duty in Desert Storm and Iraq.
This is just one of many stories from families whose loved ones served in the military. The Palmersville Historical Society plans to devote their next meeting to recognizing and honoring veterans of our area. This meeting will be at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, at the Palmersville Baptist Church. Weakley County Veterans Service officer Keith Dublin will conduct the program, which will include a Color Guard and music. Everyone is invited; veterans and their families are especially encouraged to attend.