By: Robin Ford Wallace, Reporter
Trenton’s American Legion Post 106 will host ceremonies at 1 p.m. this Saturday dedicating the stretch of Interstate 59 within Dade County to veterans of the Korean War. That part of the road will be officially named the “Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway.”
Gary Patterson, the post’s new commander since last month’s ouster of longtime Legion leader Bill Lockhart, said the ceremony should last about an hour and that State Sen. Jeff Mullis is expected to attend along with Dade County Executive and Commission Chairman Ted Rumley, other local officials and the handful of Korea veterans who live in Dade.
Patterson said that many Americans felt about the Korean conflict the same confusion or distaste they did for the later war in Vietnam. It is doubly important, then, that we honor the veterans of those “unpopular” wars, he said.
“I think their service and sacrifice has been sort of lost through the pages of time,” said Patterson. “Their sacrifice was no less than that of the vets who fought World War II. They were asked to fight for their nation and they did.”
After the ceremony, participants may join a procession of cars to drive the Alabama-to-Tennessee stretch, said Patterson.
A similar ceremony was held in July as Dade’s portion of Highway 11 was renamed in honor of native son Lance Corporal William Taylor Richards, a young U.S. Marine killed in Afghanistan in 2010.