Wall Of Honor Pays Tribute To Those That Served

May 26, 2008

On this Memorial Day, many will stop by the Veteran’s Honor Wall in Walnut Hill as they remember those that have fought for our freedom.

The largest such memorial in the North Escambia area, the Veteran’s Honor Wall has stood in front of the Walnut Hill Community Center since its dedication in 2003. There are currently 274 names on the wall, including 13 names of soldiers killed in action. The wall honors those from the Walnut Hill area that have served in the nation’s military.

The Walnut Hill Ruritan Club began planning the wall in late 2001, and they decided that it would be a community project at no cost to the veterans listed.

“If you a veteran, you deserve to be there,” Walnut Hill Ruritan Club President Billy R. Ward said. “You’ve already paid you debt; we wanted this wall to honor the veterans.”

The idea originated with Leroy Wiggins back in late 2001, Ward said, after he saw a picture of a similar Ruritan wall in Virginia in a national magazine.

The club formed two committees, headed up by Billy G. Ward and Wiggins to research construction of the wall and the list of name to be included.

Billy R. Ward began to engrave the names with an antique machine the club purchased off the internet, and there were 220 names on the wall when it was dedicated in 2003. He spent a lot of time on the project, even visiting the Wall South Memorial in Pensacola to get an idea what size the letters on the plaques should be.

On the Walnut Hill Veteran’s Honor Wall, everyone is equal. It was decided that no service rank would be include on the name plaques, just the branch and years of service.

Ward estimates that as of this Memorial Day, about one fourth of those listed on the wall are now deceased.

The Walnut Hill Veteran’s Wall is located in front of the community center at 7850 Highway 97.

For photographs that include every name on the wall as of this Memorial Day, click here.

If you know a veteran from the Walnut Hill area (including Bratt, Davisville, Oak Grove and Enon) that should be included on the honor wall, call Billy R. Ward at 256-2907. Or mail the veteran’s name, address, city, state, phone, branch of service, dates of service and your name and phone number to: Walnut Hill Ruritan Club, P.O. Box 35, Walnut Hill, FL 32568.


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