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Remembering soldiers who paid ultimate price

Memorial Day was Monday. It’s a time to remember those who fell in battle.

Here are some soldiers with either Palm Beach County or Treasure Coast connections who are heroes not because they died, but because they knew they could die and went anyway.

They weren’t always on the same side, but deserve mention nevertheless.

Winston Stephens (above), Palatka: An ancestor of Riviera Beach real-estate agent Winston Stephens, he fought for the Confederacy in the critical and horrific battle of Olustee, near Lake City, on Feb. 20, 1864. Stephens wrote that he never wanted to see another battle. Two weeks later, he was killed by a sniper.

Ralph “Red” Hollis (above left) and Claude Rich (center), West Palm Beach, and Eugene “Gene” Lish (right), Fort Pierce: The three were among the more than 1,100 U.S. military killed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941.

Paul Homer Witham, Stuart: He was the first Martin County aviator killed in World War II. The Stuart airport is named for him.

Ellison Wilson and Donald Alexander Ross, Lake Park: Both were killed in World War II and have northern Palm Beach County roads named for them.

James R. Tate: He was killed in action in Korea. A park in Riviera Beach is named for him.

And of course, let’s never forget the many local men and women who died in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

Cemeteries across the region hold the remains of the honored dead. And at area veterans’ halls, men and women recall the buddies who didn’t come home.

They shouldn’t be the only ones. We all should remember those who died in battle.

Tooting our horn: For the second time, Post Time has won the Florida Historical Society’s Golden Quill Award, for outstanding contributions by print media to the understanding of Florida history. The award was presented May 24 at the society’s annual meeting in Tampa. We owe it all to your support and interest in local history.

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Posted in Eliot Kleinberg May 31, 2012 at 11:40 am.

1 comment

One Reply

  1. Charles E. Johnson Jun 5th 2012

    Kleinberg; Come On Man;
    1. Knobby L. Thomas, WWII
    2. Lester Bridges, Viet Nam
    3. Nathaniel Byrd, Viet Nam
    What do these fallen soldiers from West Palm Beach have in common?

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