Veteran's Memorial Plaza
Lebanon, Wilson County, Tennessee
"Wilson County Veteran's Memorial PlazaDedicated at sunset on October 30, 2014to honor the men and womenof Wilson Countywho proudly served their country.""United States ArmyUnited State NavyUnited States MarineUnited States Coast GuardUnite States Air Force"
"This monument erected in memory of those who served and died fromWilson County,who paid the ultimate price for the belief that'Government should be of laws rather than menBy the people of Wilson Countyand the Lebanon JayCees4 July 1985World War IWorld War IIKoreaVietNamOperation Iraqi FreedomOperation Enduring Freedom"
This plaza, first dedicated in 2014, is beautiful. Complementing the presentation is a new veterans museum, now under construction and due to be dedicated late in 2016. In incorporated an eternal flame monument previously dedicated in 1985. It's difficult to tell for certain, but it looks as if the listing of those that have served is a subscription effort, rather than a complete listing of all the men and women of Wilson County that have served.
The numerical impact of World War II versus World War I is evident. During both conflicts the county population was just over 25,000; but the two dozen men that fell in WW I is easily eclipsed by the number killed in WW II, nearly four times greater. Some died on Utah beach, some were killed by American aircraft as their prison ships were strafed in Pacific Ocean waters.
Meredith Draper was a Corporal with Company G, 114th Infantry, 44th Divsion. He died February 15, 1945 in France. The 44th didn't get to France and into combat until October of '44. The war was over by the middle of April. Between the two dates the 44th Division counted almost 14,000 casualties; dead, wounded, missing, or prison - over 97 percent of the force.
Hopefull the new museum will relate the stories of these men in more detail than what I have space for here. Why not place to stop for a visit as soon as the new building is completed and dedicated.