New WWI Monument in Sussex County - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

New WWI Monument in Sussex County

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GEORGETOWN, Del. - After three months of fundraising, and 98 years since the end of World War One. Sussex County has a monument honoring those who died in "The Great War."

"It's just awesome that people would remember these men," said Rowland Scott, Commander of American Legion Post 8. "It's because of these men that we have the freedom to be here today."

The monument, located in the Georgetown Circle, lists the names of 17 Sussex County men who died during WWI.One of those men was Cpl. Raymond Reynolds, killed in France in 1918. His great-niece, Thelma Folke of Georgetown, helped start the conversation to create a designated WWI monument for the county.

"We came to the Memorial Day Service, and on the program, Raymond Reynolds' name was never on there," she said. "And we couldn't figure out why."

So she began conversations with the American Legion Post 8, who worked with the city of Georgetown, the county, and local organizations to create the monument. Fundraising began in August. Judy Lawson, the Chairman of the World War One Monument Fund, says they got donations from across the United States.

"In a week under three months, we've come from concept to having the memorial placed," she said. "I had a gentleman I went on a bus trip with this summer to Branson and he had made a donation, I sent him an invitation and he came today. It's beyond county wide. It's just humanity at its best."

The monument was unveiled at 11 am on November 11th. It featured a Presentation of the Colors by the Sussex Tech High School J.R.O.T.C., and also and playing of "Taps" by the Alpha Company 198 ESB of the Delaware National Guard, based in Georgetown. Commander Scott says the timing of the dedication was purposeful, as it was Veterans Day, but also even more relevant due to the recent election.

"It's because of all the others that fought in service that we have the freedom that we can vote, like we did on Tuesday," he said. "Whether you voted for one or the other, you had that freedom. You would not have had that freedom if these men had not served."

Folke says seeing her great-uncle honored in such a public way is amazing.

"I am so proud and so happy," she said after the dedication. "I appreciate how much everybody has done."

The fund met its $20,000 goal in pledges, but they are still accepting donations for future upkeep of the monument. Anyone interested in donating may make a check payable to the American Legion Post 8 and mail it to: 

WWI Monument

305 N Front Street

Georgetown, DE 19947

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