What a nice tribute--renaming Highway 49 for vets


R epresentative Andy Gipson has informed us that Governor Phil Bryant has signed House Bill 1208.  This bill acknowledges the sacrifices that veterans made to World War II and names a highway in their honor.

Now the entire section of Highway 49 that goes through Simpson County will be designated as Mississippi World War II Veterans Memorial Highway.  

The designations will start at the north and south entrances to Simpson County. 

There will be special acknowledgement at D’Lo for that town’s contribution during World War II. 

D’Lo, Mississippi, was reported by Life Magazine as “the fightenest town in the South.” 

   The story, as reported by WLOX during a Memorial Day celebration, said that the small Simpson County town had 400 residents when the war broke out, and of that number 150 volunteered to serve after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. 

  At the point when the story was written in 2009, some of those World War II D’Lo veterans were still alive.  That is not the case anymore.  As a matter of fact, the individual who was interviewed for the story was Joe Parker.  Mr. Parker, who passed away recently, is reported to have been the last of those heroic D’Lo residents. 

Mr. Parker told the television reporter, "I know all these people, every one of them (referring to the list of D’Lo volunteers)," WWII veteran Joe Parker said.  Parker said he remembered being among those who answered the call to serve so many years ago.

"We were just a patriotic group here in this town. We all just got behind it," Parker said.

Now every day that passes  claims more and more of the men and women who fought to stop tyranny and ensure the safety of our country against tyrants in the Axis powers of that time. 

Nancy and I are both of the “baby boomer generation” born at the end of the war, between 1945 and 1955.  If my father was alive he would be 98. Nancy’s dad is alive at the age of 92.  My father fought in the European theater, and Nancy’s father was in the Pacific. 

 I think our communities would be better places to call home if we had some of those old fashioned values of patriotism and pride in the United States of America that existed in a much simpler time with far less technology.  When those men and women were sacrificing to defend their country, they were fortunate even to have electricity, much less any of today’s technology.  Somehow, technology hasn’t made us better people than those members of the Greatest Generation born before us.

Special thanks to Andy Gipson for his role in this  legislation.  Also a great big congratulations to the people of D’Lo as well as their leadership for the recognition associated with this great honor!