By Richard Rourk
Unicoi County is known for its willingness to serve when called upon to do so, and for some brave men and women that meant paying the ultimate sacrifice.
Unicoi County now has a special marker to pay homage to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
“This is a Gold Star Memorial marker,” explained Glenn Tilson, the man who organized the effort to obtain Unicoi County’s very own Gold Star Memorial marker.
“This (marker) is sponsored by the Federation of Garden Clubs, the Unicoi County Heritage Museum, Charles E. King Sr. American Legion Post 25, Pam Dowd and has been paid for by Charles and Annette Tinnin.”
The monument, which is located outside Erwin Town Hall at the corner of N. Main Avenue and 2nd Street is only one of 12 such markers in Tennessee.
“When we got this approved it was the ninth marker approved in the State of Tennessee,” Tilson said.
“I would like to thank the Town of Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen for allowing us to put the monument up here. I am also thankful for the public works and street department headed by Tim Bailey for putting in the work to erect the monument.”
The Gold Star Memorial marker designates that Unicoi County has a number of families of Gold Star recipients.
“The Gold Star Memorial marker is for the families that have lost loved ones in defense of the country,” Tilson said. “When you see these markers, it’s a reminder to pause and reflect on the sacrifices that were made for us in this country, please remember their families.”
Town of Erwin Mayor Glenn White is pleased that Erwin can host the Unicoi County monument.
“This is a great way to honor these brave men and women and I speak for the Board of Mayor and Aldermen when I say thank you to Mr. Tilson for getting this done,” White said.
The official unveiling ceremony for the Gold Star Memorial marker is set for Friday, June 17, at 1 p.m. at Erwin Town Hall.
“Unicoi County Heritage Museum Curator Martha Erwin and I are working on lining up some very special VIPs for the event,” Tilson said. “We hope to see a big crowd come out to honor these families.”
Tilson requests that local churches with bells consider ringing them for 10 minutes from 12:50 to 1 p.m. on Friday, June 17, as part of the ceremony.
For more, check out Connie Denney’s latest “A Denney for Your Thoughts,” at https://www.erwinrecord.net/viewpoint/a-denney-for-your-thoughts-patriotisms-alive-and-well/