Greenville Honors Fallen Military Members in Annual Memorial Day Program

Greenville held its annual Memorial Day program at Confederate Park Monday morning.

This year’s guest speaker was Major Gerald Johnson, a Vietnam Veteran. He’s also the chairman of the Butler County World War I Centennial Committee. He used his speech to make sure the 14 soldiers from Butler County who lost their lives in that war were not forgotten.

He highlighted the life of Pvt. Will Williams from Greenville. Williams left Greenville to fight in World War I 100 years ago. He died on September 12, 1918.

Johnson believes that putting a personality to these soldiers names will ensure their memories stay alive through the younger generations.

“I tried to reach out to everyone to put those people here… They were here,” he says. “They did walk these very streets. Probably roller skated as I did on these sidewalks here. You know. It’s real. Put a real face on it, as best we can, on what this is all about.”

Johnson also pointed out in his speech that those lost in World War I don’t have a memorial set up in the city to honor them. He’s hoping to spur enough interest to get a memorial for those soldiers within the next year.

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