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War hero's new legacy
November 12th, 2012
06:30 PM ET

Always faithful: Marine veterans tend to hero's grave, cemetery

By Phil Gast, CNN

Macon, Georgia (CNN) - A smiling likeness of legendary soul singer Otis Redding greets visitors to the city clerk's office in this central Georgia city. Down the hall, inside the mayor's office, is a portrait of another Macon legend: Rodney M. Davis.

Both men were African-Americans of about the same age. Both men died in 1967. Both men are city heroes.

Redding and his music are famous worldwide. The story of Davis, who gave his life in Vietnam and became Macon's only recipient of the Medal of Honor, is not so well known, despite two monuments in the city and a U.S. Navy frigate bearing his name.

Vietnam, after all, was a few wars ago. Acrimony over the United States' presence there has faded with time, along with much of the bitterness once felt by now-graying warriors.

But the loyalty among veterans hasn't faded. Marines never forget their own.

Saturday morning, joined by Davis' family, a couple dozen Marines gathered near the grave of the comrade they barely knew, but will never forget.

Atop a bluff overlooking Interstate 75 in Macon, they placed a wreath and dedicated a 14-foot monument to Sgt. Davis, helping to restore the dignity that nature and neglect robbed from the cemetery that holds his remains.

They pledged protection to the man who, even in childhood, was a protector.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Black in America • History • Veterans in Focus • Who we are
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