Almost all Hill Country cemeteries contain many memorials and grave markers for men and women who have served in the military helping to establish and preserve our freedom. Recently in recording the burials at Boggan Cemetery, I was struck by the high percentage of veterans among those buried there. Few local cemeteries seem to have as many military personnel to be remembered each Independence Day, Veterans Day, and Memorial Day than Boggan Cemetery.
Few visitors to Boggan Cemetery cannot help but be thankful for the service and sacrifice of so many individuals. A person cannot stand at the grave marker of a soldier who fought for our American Independence and not feel a connection to that time and to those events which shaped our country. And one cannot stand at the cenotaph memorializing a local man who was buried at sea and not feel a profound sadness for that loss.
Boggan Cemetery, located near the historic community of Quincy, contains a grave for a soldier who served in the fledgling American military fighting for our initial independence from the King’s rule in England, the American Revolution, graves for soldiers who fought in the Civil War, and graves for soldiers who fought in World War 1 and in World War 2.
Also at Boggan Cemetery is a memorial marker for a marine buried at sea during World War 2.
This Memorial Day (May 25), this Independence Day (July 4) and this Veterans Day (November 11), an appropriate way to celebrate would be to visit your local cemetery and honor the men and women from the Hill Country who fought to help obtain and preserve the freedoms we all enjoy. Many of the veterans of all the various wars have special military markers or have statements of their service on their tombstones.
Some of the individuals memorialized in stone at Boggan Cemetery for service to their country include the following Americans:
Jessie W. Nash, World War 2; Samuel Brewster Neal, World War 2; John N. Ritter, Civil War; Augustin Carter, Civil War; J.D. Malone, Civil War; Augustine Carter, American Revolutionary War; John Nicholas Tubb, Civil War; Henry K. Carter, Civil War; A. Wood, Civil War; Coy Hall, World War 2; Walter E. Kimbrough, World War 1; William Carrade Woodruff, Corporal US Marine Corps, Buried at Sea, World War 2; Hersell Lee Shuford, World War 2; J.T. Woodruff, Civil War; A.L. Cantrell, Civil War; Clyde Durley Swan, World War 2.
If you have a relative buried in Monroe County who is a veteran check with the Veterans Administration for the possibility of obtaining a free military marker for the grave. Such markers are especially needed for veterans of the American Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War (both Confederate and Union), and the Spanish American War. Although documentation of service is easier for veterans post-World War One, it is not difficult to obtain proof of service for your relative who served in pre-WW1 conflicts. Information for applying for a military marker is available online – just search for VA Form 40-1330 – or telephone your local Veterans Administration office.
The next time you pass a cemetery in the hills, stop and get out and walk through the markers – and remember. And on Memorial, Independence, and Veterans days why not visit a cemetery and pay homage to the sacrifice of so many members of our area. What better way to remember those who served than by making sure they have a proper grave marker?
I think to honor those who have served before is also a reminder to honor those men and women currently serving in lands far removed from the green hills of Monroe County. In remembering the past we also honor the present.
Terry Thornton is a retired college administrator and former Amory Middle School principal who resides in Fulton. He can be contacted at his blog Hill Country of Monroe County or at firstname.lastname@example.org.