As we continue to honor and remember our Nation’s fallen heroes each Memorial Day, this year’s Shannon event promises to be one of the most meaningful yet. Shannon’s Lt-Gen Billy Brown said he didn’t believe that we’ll ever again have the opportunity to put together an event like this… whereby we will have all of these historical aspects and relevant individuals coming together in one place and at one time for a Memorial Day event.
The General went on to say: “It’s just going to be a wonderful thing”. Brown participated in the 1946 dedication as a Second-Class Boy Scout. At last year’s event, seventy-two years later, Brown was back at Shannon … giving the keynote address as a three-star general! He will also be back in the ceremony again this year in his capacity as a United States Corp Chaplain.
Shannon’s WWII monument was erected and dedicated so quickly after the ending of WWII that metal was still not available for the making of the bronze plaque. So, a made-to-look-alike wooden plaque had to be mounted to the granite base for the 1946 ceremony until later when bronze became available. That same wooden plaque will be on display at this year’s event. The Shannon memorial was conceived and established by Shannon’s Brighton Mills’ first president (1927), Mr. Julian K. Morrison. Morrison had been an officer and decorated hero of WWI before coming to Shannon to become one of the community’s greatest benefactors.
Being unveiled at this year’s ceremony will be a history/information marker: “IN HONORABLE TRIBUTE TO SHANNON’S FALLEN SOLDIERS AND A MAN NAMED JULIAN K. MORRISON”. This marker will be dedicated by Mr. Loy Jarrett, whose father was the manager of Mr. Morrison’s prized Shandra Farms. Loy grew up on that farm, and he knew Morrison quite well. The unveiling of the marker will be performed by descendants (grandchildren, etc.) of Mr. Morrison. These were born after Morrison’s death, and some will be visiting Shannon and the memorial site for the first time in their lives.
As usual, the main event of a Memorial Day occasion is the keynote address. This year it will be the same exact speech as given by Julian K. Morrison at the original dedication back in 1946. The speech will be given by Mr. Louis Byars, the last plant manager of the Shannon mill facility. Mr. Morrison was its first. Max MacAdams will be the emcee for the event. Max is the current Scoutmaster of Shannon’s Troop 30 Boy Scouts. Mr. Morrison was its first. Both Shannon’s Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts participated in the 1946 dedication. Both still participate and will be there this Memorial Day. Many other aspects of historical significance and patriotism will be on full display at this upcoming Memorial Day occasion.
You are encouraged to make Shannon your venue of choice for remembering the lives of our fallen heroes come this Memorial Day, May 27th, 2019.