Satsuma, AL (WKRG) – Veterans in Satsuma are getting a special salute this holiday. The Satsuma Veteran’s Memorial has been decorated with special notes from school children thanking vets for their sacrifice. This memorial has 14 names etched into the tower at the center. Each name honors a veteran from the Satsuma area who has either died or gone missing in conflicts from World War II to the present. The last name belongs to Corporal Joseph Whitehead. He was killed in Afghanistan in 2011. He was the last veteran from Satsuma to die in service to the country. On Whitehead’s flagpole at the Memorial, is a little note from a Satsuma second grader.
“It says thank-you for your courage we appreciate your sacrifice for our country,” said Satsuma resident Shirley Presnall reading the note. “Unless you are a very courageous person, it takes courage to put your life on the line just as it does for our police and fire,” she said when talking about the young man’s sacrifice. 13 other similar notes mark every flagpole at the memorial. The flags and the notes stand as a reminder their courage won’t be forgotten.
“And it just is significant to me that we as a free people have not forgotten the sacrifice our veterans have made in order that we are a free people,” said Satsuma Mayor Tom Williams. Organizers say it’s also important for children to learn reverence and respect for the work of veterans.
“We wanted the children to be involved in this because sometimes we neglect to involve these children and sometimes they’re not aware,” said Satsuma Veteran Jack Presnall. This is the first year a class of Robert E. Lee elementary students has worked with local veterans to make the small Thank-You notes. They hope to do it again next year.