Wreath Ceremony Held To Commemorate 50th Anniversary of Sgt. York’s Death


WREATH MARKS 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF SGT. YORK’S DEATH: On Tuesday, September 2, a special ceremony was held at the grave of Sgt. Alvin C. York at the Wolf River Cemetery in observance of the 50th anniversary of his death, followed by a wreath being placed at his gravesite by his three surviving children. Left to right: Deborah York, Sgt. York’s great-granddaughter, who now serves as Executive Director of the Sgt. York Patriotic Foundation, and Sgt. York’s children: George Edward York, Betsy Ross York Lowery, and Andrew Jackson (Andy) York.

In observance of the 50th Anniversary of the death of World War I Hero Sgt. Alvin C. York, a special wreath ceremony was held on Tuesday, September 2 at his gravesite at the Wolf River Cemetery in his beloved valley in Pall Mall, TN.

With his three surviving children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, various other family members and friends in attendance, the ceremony opened with a welcome and thanks by Gerald York, Sgt. York’s grandson, who now serves as Chairman of the Sgt. York Patriotic Foundation.

York recognized the state park staff for their support and cooperation, to the Wolf River Methodist Church and the Wolf River Cemetery Association, the American Legion and DAV,  York Institute Superintendent Phil Brannon and several York Institute students in attendance, members of the York Family, and all the family and friends present for keeping Sgt. York’s legacy alive by remembering him.

Following  singing of the National Anthem by George Storie of Smithville, Rev. Willie Beaty, Sgt. York’s nephew, gave the invocation, after which Pastor Sam Wood spoke of York’s many accomplishments and his service to his community, state and country, closing with the statement:  “Let us seek to emulate those things that made him great:  His love for America, his love for his family and friends, his generosity, his efforts to provide an education for the children of Fentress County, and, most of all, his love for and his faith in God.”

Former Fentress County Executive John B. Mullinix then spoke about the many contributions which Sgt. York made to Fentress County, primarily the establishment of York Agricultural Institute, and how the school had changed the lives of thousands of Fentress County students, including himself.

George Storie then sang “God Bless The USA”, after which Gerald York then introduced his daughter, Deborah York, Executive Director of the Sgt. York Patriotic Foundation, who thanked everyone for coming and announced that a reception would be held following the ceremony at the Wolf River Methodist Church and stated: “In the words of my great grandfather in a speeck he gave on July 4, 1940”  Let’s be a united people.  Let’s plege ourselves to have only 1 God, 1 Flag, and 1 Country. Thank you.”

Read the rest of the story in this weeks Fentress Courier.