OUR VIEW: We need another greatest generation

Published 3:00 pm Friday, September 13, 2019

There have been some gloomy front-page stories in The Valley Times-News this week of Patriot Day. There were accounts of a man being killed in a single-vehicle traffic accident on Highway 50, someone being charged in the recent shooting at Fairfax Kindergarten, people being arrested on drug charges, a man being arraigned on a murder charge and a body being found near an electrical substation in Valley.

The fact that there’s always bad news to report is tempered by the good news stories that are always such a pleasure to write about.

It’s always good to have stories about our first responders. Such men and women are true heroes in our community and carry on the legacy of those good men and women who died on September 11, 2001. There was another feel-good story of how local attorney Larry Nix is carrying on a family tradition that goes back 100 years now. It’s encouraging to know he’d like for the Morrow & Nix name to carry on for years to come. It’s uplifting to read about a local quilting group honoring veterans for their service to our country. These men and women deserve recognition for doing their part in serving our country. The first Saturday of every month is a special day at sewiwgmachine.com in downtown West Point. This past Saturday nine local veterans were honored in a Quilt of Valor ceremony. They included 99-year-old Herbert Ausmon of Valley. Seventy-five years ago this summer he was wounded in the Normandy campaign.

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It was especially moving to see the local quilters place a new quilt around the shoulders of Ronald Gilmore of Fayetteville, Georgia.

In a voice halting with emotion he said, “I just wish my daddy was here to see this,” he said. “He grew up in Lanett and was a paratrooper in World War II.”

According to The Valley in World War II, a copy of which is available at Cobb Archives in Valley, the dad, Marvin Gilmore, was born in Lanett in 1921. He attended schools in Lanett and worked in Lanett Mill before joining the Army a little more than a month before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He was a member of the 505th Airborne Infantry. Marvin Gilmore survived the initial landing but died in fighting around Sainte-Mere­ Eglise on June 9,1944. According to The Valley in World War II, “(Gilmore) was awarded the American Defense ribbon, an ETO ribbon with three battle stars (Sicily, Naples, Normandy) and a Presidential Citation of Death. He leaves his widow, Mary, and a son, Ronnie.”

Ronnie Gilmore would go on to serve in the Army during the Vietnam War.

“My daddy was a member of the Greatest Generation,” he told the crowd assembled inside sewingmachine.com. “I’m very proud of that. I’m also proud to have served in the U.S. Army, but I never sacrificed the way my daddy did. If our country ever needed another Greatest Generation, it does now.” Marvin Gilmore would be proud of that son today.