Wall of Honor: Photo display honors men and women of Hopkins County serving their country

By PATTI SELLS | News-Telegram Feature Writer

May 31, 2007 - As the nation sets aside a day of remembrance each year for those who have served our country, Hopkins County Fall Festival and Pilot Club members have come up with an ongoing way to pay tribute to local active duty military personnel and their families who are sacrificing so much.

Staff Photo by Angela Pitts

Jane Goldsmith proudly points out her son, 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Matthew Goldsmith, who has been in Iraq since March, to (left to right) Dairy Festival Board President Dusty Rabe and Treasurer Cheyenne Smithers, and Sulphur Springs Pilot Club president Tina Phillips as they look at the Military Honor Roll Photo Display, currently at City National Bank on Mockingbird Lane. The display was built by Goldsmith, Smithers and his wife, Lisa.

The Military Honor Roll Photo Display was first presented to the community last year in the Civic Center foyer during Fall Festival. Since that time, it has been on display at local banks and steadily grown in popularity.

�We have gotten so many wonderful comments,� said Pilot Club President Tina Phillips of the display of the photographs of active duty soldiers from Hopkins County. �The families of these guys and girls are very proud and thankful their loved ones are being given recognition. Some of these families have more than one child or loved one fighting for us. They sacrifice so much. When they see their pictures displayed, they are overcome with emotion.�

According to Phillips, the idea for the partition came about after one of last year’s Fall Festival committee members, John Smithers, voiced that he wished they could come up with an ongoing project that would honor local men and women currently serving our country.

The Military Honor Roll Photo Display, built by Smithers, was the end result, with Janet Vickers donating the matting.

�It�s amazing that you can start with a little idea and see it grow into such a great thing,� said Phillips. �It�s just a way for us to thank the men and women serving our country and honor them,��

According to Phillips, the photo display provides an important service to the community by letting residents know who locally is serving.

�It�s been a real eye-opener,� she said. �So many people recognize somebody�s son or daughter on there and say they didn�t even realize they were serving.��

The display can easily be added to, according to Phillips, and their hope is word of the display will continue to spread so that no community member serving our country will be left off.

�We know there are many more soldiers from our county out there and would love to have every one of them included on the display,� she explained.

The Military Honor Roll Photo Display is currently at the City National Bank branch location on Mockingbird Lane. Information sheets can be picked up on tables near the display. Photographs can be e-mailed to tphillips@1starnet.com or by contacting hillips at 903-885-7571 to arrange for copies of photographs to be dropped off or scanned. 

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