Favors honor fallen soldiers on Remembrance Day
NEWBERRY – Col. Rose Marie Favors, US Marine Corps. (retired) and Newberry resident, paid tribute to the men and women who died on foreign soil or later died of their injuries at the Memorial Day ceremony on May 30.
“They are the reason we are here. These men and women who never spent a Sunday afternoon in the park again; who never enjoyed the peace, quiet and security again. It’s about remembering them, ”Favors said. “We stand here in Memorial Park in front of the statue of a ‘Doughboy’ – a nickname for infantry soldiers during World War I, the meaning of which is lost to history and legend. I wonder how many people pass by and, if they even notice the statue, have no idea why it is there or what it represents? And if they don’t know what it is, they can’t remember it, they won’t remember it. Generations will forget, then the life, service and sacrifice of these men and women will have been in vain.
Favors spoke of the First World War, the war she said would “end all wars.” She spoke of trench warfare and the men who risked their lives.
“They endured unimaginable misery in the mud and mud of these trenches. The stench, the rats, the dysentery, the deprivation. For days, weeks, months, endless misery. In the trenches where muddy boots and wet socks crippled soldiers when the skin peeled off the soles of their feet. Imagine, day after day, wearing rough, ill-fitting leather boots. Stand up, walk, walk, hike… run towards the enemy, run for her life, ”she said.
Favors discussed mustard gas, and the only protection the soldiers had was a crude little mask.
“As much as I could be annoyed with the inconvenience of wearing a mask these days – imagine what it must have been like to live and fight while wearing one of those gas masks. Imagine being grateful for having a mask or worried about losing yours or yours not working, ”she said.
Favors then noted some examples of untold acts of bravery and sacrifice in World Word I.
“Gunnery Sergeant Stockham, a Marine, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for giving his own gas mask to a wounded Marine, knowing full well that the effects of the gas would be fatal. Still, he continued to help evacuate the injured until he also collapsed from the effects of the gas, dying a few days later.
“Remember the African-American soldiers in Newberry County who fought alongside the French soldiers because the American expeditionary forces had not fully integrated. Among them was Private Terrance Moon who died thousands of miles from here, from Newberry, on foreign soil.
“Remember Corporal Freddie Stowers, US Army, 371st Infantry Regiment, an African American man from Sandy Springs, South Carolina. He took command of a beaten platoon when officers and senior enlisted men were killed. Against all odds, he crawled towards a nest of German machine guns and shouted for his men to follow him. The platoon successfully reached the first German trench line and reduced the machine guns with enfilade fire. During the assault he was hit by an enemy machine gun, but continued until he was hit a second time. He collapsed from bleeding, but ordered his men not to be discouraged and to go on and take out the German guns. For all this he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
“Remember the Navy and civilian cargo ships, sailors and merchant seamen, carrying troops and supplies across the perilous waters of the open Atlantic.”
“Remember the bravery of the Army Air Corps, the death-defying air battles over the European countryside, flying the top cowl in paper and wooden planes – little more than kites . Remember Eddie Rickenbacker, a brave racing driver who became America’s first and most famous flying ace of the First World War.
“Remember the army and navy nurses who went to the front lines to help the wounded, sick and dying. Remember the chaplains, the war correspondents.
In the Marines, every recruit, every candidate for a job discovers World War I and the legendary Marines that are now part of their DNA, Favors said.
“We learn about battles and engagements. We learn to remember the debt we owe them and so that we can live up to the standard they set, ”she said. “We remember so that they did not die in vain. So that we may be the worthy successors of their life and their heritage.
Contact Andrew Wigger at 803-768-3122 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.