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MEMORIAL DAY IN COLLIN COUNTY
HONORING THE HEROES
 

Collin County, Texas, officially came into existence in 1846, ten years after the Battle of the Alamo. The county is, and has historically been, the home of thousands of brave young men and women, who have been participants in the never-ending fight for freedom. Before the county was actually formed, folks who had settled in the area had to defend themselves against marauding Indians who had massacred entire families living on isolated farms, as well as against roving bands of outlaws. During the Texas War of Independence, many of those farmers and ranchers left their homes and rode south to join in the successful fight against the army of Santa Anna, the ruthless dictator who was responsible for the murders of hundreds of innocent people.
In the days leading up to the Civil War, the citizenry of Collin County was divided on the decision of whether to remain in the Union, or to secede and join the Confederacy. An election was held with an overwhelming result, 948 to 405, to stay with the Union. However, overall in the state, the decision to secede was passed, and in 1861, Texas became part of the Confederate States of America. Out of a population of less than 10,000, approximately 3,000 Collin County men volunteered to serve with the Confederacy, and an unknown number chose to serve with the Union. The exact number is not known, but hundreds of those brave young men did not return home, having been killed on battlefields from Pea Ridge to Gettysburg.
Today, cemeteries throughout the county contain the graves of those veterans who did return and live to tell the tales of honor, hardship, and sacrifice. In 1917, a tall granite monument, in honor of the Confederate soldiers, was erected in Farmersville and still stands proudly today. Pecan Grove Cemetery in McKinney is the final resting-place for many of those vets, with a monument dedicated to their service.
In the remaining years of the 19th Century, young men of Collin County went off to fight in the Indian Wars, another war with Mexico, as well as a war against Spain. The Spanish-American War would be the first time US Soldiers would actually be sent in great numbers to fight overseas in places like Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and the Philippine Islands.
In 1918, the United States entered World War I, which because of its savagery and tremendous loss of life, was described as "The War to End All Wars." It would be the first time Collin County men were killed in combat on foreign soil.  A total of 61 local heroes would die, including one woman.
World War II would claim the lives of 218 hundred Collin County men. On December 7, 1941, four of them were sailors on board the USS Arizona, and were killed in the opening minutes of the war. Thousands of local young men and women served and fought in all corners of the globe, on land, sea, and in the air. The most decorated and the most famous soldier of that war, Audie Murphy, hailed from Farmersville. The citizens of Farmersville have erected a monument to their fallen heroes on the town square, and hold an annual festival in the name of Murphy, which honors all its veterans.
The bloody war in Korea, in the early 1950s, would claim 19 Collin County boys.
The era of the war in Vietnam would see the loss of 28 local young men, including 21 who were killed in the combat zone. Lieutenant Russell Steindam, of Plano, would become the county’s second Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, when he selflessly sacrificed his life in order to save his comrades by diving on an enemy grenade.
On 3 April ,2011, Robert F. Welch of Wylie, Died on 3 April, 2011, of wounds sustained during a mortar barrage on his position in Khost Province, Afghanistan, near the Pakistani Border, We have lost 12 Collin County boys in the War on Terror.
In the 93 years between the time Jimmy Geigas was killed on the battlefield in France, and Peter Burks, more than three hundred Collin County servicemen have been died in the service of their country.
Memorial Day is a special day in Collin County. The cemeteries are filled with many of those heroes. It is a chance for all of us to stop and think about them, the sacrifices they made, and to be thankful for the freedoms we so much enjoy. We are blessed to live in such a great country, and should honor and never forget those who have made it possible.
 

Since 2007, Collin County Freedom Fighters, VFW Post 2150 and Turrentine, Jackson, Morrow Funeral Homes,
have hosted a Memorial Day service at Ridgeview Memorial Park to especially honor the 10 Collin County heroes
who are buried there.

Memorial Day
Ridgeview Memorial Park
May 26, 2007

Program
Prayer - Rev. Forest Smith - USMC Vietnam
Keynote Address - RD Foster - USMC Vietnam
Taps - Dale Littrell

Memorial Day 2007

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Rev. Forest Smith
RD Foster
USMC Vietnam Vets
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Mark Stoddard US Army
RDF
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Vietnamese refugee
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Martin Rogers MD 2007 4 Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
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Memorial Day
Ridgeview Memorial Park
May 28, 2008

Program
Prayer - Rev. Forest Smith - USMC Vietnam
Keynote Address - RD Foster - USMC Vietnam
"Taps" - Dale Littrell

 


Memorial Day 2009

Ridgeview
Memorial Park
1:00 p.m. - May 25, 2009
Program
Master of Ceremonies - Jim Nichols
Commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2150
Prayer -
Reverend Marijan Hlaston
Keynote Address - RD Foster – USMC Vietnam
"Taps" - Dale Littrell

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Dale Littrell
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Terry Turrentine Irby
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Addison Razor


MEMORIAL DAY 2010
May 31, 2010
Ceremony Program
Master of Ceremonies - Jim Nichols, Commander, VFW Post 2150
Opening Prayer - Jackie Hlastan – Gold Star Mother
Music - Bennie Dugger
Keynote Address – Captain Steven Brainerd
US Navy Pilot and Combat Veteran of the Vietnam War.
Reading
of the Names – RD Foster – USMC, Vietnam
“Taps” – Dale Littrell

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Jim Nichols - MC
VFW Commander
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Captain Stephen Brainard

US Navy
Fighter Pilot in Vietnam
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RD Foster
USMC Vietnam
"Reading of the Names"
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Dale Littrell
"Taps"
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MEMORIAL DAY 2011
Collin County Freedom Fighters. VFW Post 2150 and
Turrentine, Jackson, Morrow,

Invite you to join us in honoring our hometown heroes. 

Memorial Day
Ridgeview Memorial Park
Monday, May 30, 2011, 1:00 p.m.
Hwy 75 between McKinney and Allen

Honoring all United States Military Veterans who have passed on,
especially those who gave their lives in the service of our country.

Veterans are authorized to wear their ribbons twice a year,
Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Vets, wear your ribbons.

Ceremony Program

Master of Ceremonies - CHUCK ROYKO, US Air Force
Commander VFW Post 2150

Opening Prayer - JIM CASEROTTI, VFW Post 2150

Music by RONNY SPEARS, KENNY DANIEL (US Army Vietnam) and
RD FOSTER (USMC Vietnam)

Keynote Address - LENI MARK WILLIAMS - US Army -
Decorated veteran of World War II - Silver Star, Bronze Star,
Army Commendation Medal and Purple Heart.
Served during the wars in Korea and Vietnam.

Reading of the Names - JOHN HARGETT - USMC, Vietnam Veteran

"Taps" - DALE LITTRELL

Special recognition will be given to the ten young men buried at Ridgeview who gave their lives
in the service of our country during the Vietnam War and the War in Iraq:

Seaman PAUL GORDON LUNA, 18, US Navy, Sept. 8, 1969
Captain RICHARD MICHAEL RYAN, 24, US Air Force, Sept. 20, 1969

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Seaman 1st Class
Tommy Harris
20, US Navy
May 14, 1965


Cpl. Darrel "George" Mahan
20, USMC
Aug. 19, 1967


PFC Thomas Holdbrooks
19, USMC
Dec. 28, 1967


Cpl Charles "Bill" Bryan
20, USMC
Jan 20, 1968


Spc. 4th Class
Wayne Woody
22, US Army
Jan 30, 1970

Rodgers, Martin
Spc. 5th Class Martin Rodgers
18, US Army
July 26, 1970

Trovillion, Tyler
Cpl. Tyler Trovillion
23, USMC
June 15, 2005

Hayes, Jacob
L/Cpl. Jacob Hayes
24, USMC
Dec. 17, 2008

                            

Photobucket RIDGEVIEW MEMORIAL PARKpan>
MEMORIAL DAY 2011
(photos by Kay Goode)
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Chuck Royko - MC
USAF
Commander VFW Post 2150
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Opening Prayer
Jim Caserotti
VFW Post 2150
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Music by - Ronny Spears
Kenny Daniel
RD Foster
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"Amazing Grace"
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Ronny playing in honor of his
grandfather, Walter Spears
US Army WWII
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RD Foster - USMC
Kenny Daniel - US Army
Vietnam Vets
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"Guys Like James Malone"
(RD Foster 1978)
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"Sometimes I wake up,
In the middle of the night,
An echo in the darkness,
A whisper in the quiet.
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Sometimes I break up
In the middle of a song,
And I wonder who'll remember,
Guys like James Malone.
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James used to drive a Chevy,
A nineteen fifty-three.
They called his name in sixty-six,
Shipped out over seas.

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There he died a hero,
That's what the letter said.
But back at home, etched in stone,
James Malone is dead.

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I wonder who'll remember
The names on the Wall.
When all their friends
are dead and gone,
Will anyone at all?

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Don't let their memories fade away,
Their spirits dead and gone.
Don't let them be forgotten,
No, Guys like James Malone

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James never went to college
He never got to vote,
Never raised a family,
He never owned a boat.
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For guys like me who made it home,
And go back again at night,
When we’re gone who’ll carry on?
No, don’t let our heroes die.
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I wonder who'll remember
The names on the Wall.
When all their friends
are dead and gone,
Will anyone at all?
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Don't let their memories fade away,
Their spirits dead and gone.
Don't let them be forgotten,
No, Guys like James Malone
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Keynote Address - LENI MARK WILLIAMS - US Army  Veteran of three wars.
Decorated Hero of World War II - Silver Star, Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal and Purple Heart.
Served during the wars in Korea and Vietnam.

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John Hargett
USMC Vietnam Vet
"Reading of the Names"
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Dale Littrell
"Taps"
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