Sgt. York Grave Dedicated as World War I Memorial

By Jacob E. Rosenbaum

On Sunday, May 27th, a large crowd of spectators gathered at the Wolf River Cemetery to witness the dedication of the grave-site of Sgt. Alvin C. York as a National War Memorial. Sgt. York’s heroism in World War I, as well as his receipt of the Medal of Honor for his actions are known the world over and are a particular source of pride for the residents of Pall Mall, Fentress County, and the Upper Cumberland. Sgt. York dedicated his post war life to the betterment and education of the people of Fentress County, the principal monument of this being Alvin C. York Institute in Jamestown. York passed away in 1964 and was laid to rest in the Wolf River Cemetery, and while the grave-site has long been a tourist attraction for patriots, passersby, and WWI enthusiasts, it was not listed as an official memorial.

2018 marks the centennial of WWI, and as such the World War One Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library have partnered together in the  “100 Cities 100 Memorials” initiative to restore and or establish one hundred World War One memorials across the United States. This partnership has worked with hundreds of local agencies in order to raise over 4.5 million dollars for its cause, all of which has been dedicated to the preservation/establishment and promotion of WWI memorials. In Fentress County, the initiative partnered with the Jamestown Rotary Club, and Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation to renovate and dedicate York’s Pall Mall resting place. Among the improvements made were a handicap accessible walkway leading to the front of the grave, new gravel, a decorative fence, and new lighting to illuminate the grave-site at night.

Read the rest of the story in this week’s Fentress Courier.