American Village honors veterans

Published 4:02 pm Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Henry Lester Aderholt was in his early 20s when he joined the U.S. Army in 1968.

On Valentine’s Day in 1970, the Pinson native was serving as a gunner on a helicopter with the 119th Assault Helicopter Company when he was shot by a sniper. He fell out of the helicopter onto the landing zone below, but was eventually rescued. He was partially paralyzed and suffered internal injuries, which led to his death three years later.

Aderholt’s story is one of many veterans’ stories that have been submitted to the American Village’s Register of Honor, a website that presents the “names, photographers and biographies of tens of thousands of veterans, living and dead, who have served our country,” according to the American Village’s website.

The Register of Honor, which launched in 2013, will be housed in the National Veterans Shrine at the American Village, which will be dedicated on Monday, Feb. 17 at 1 p.m. The Shrine will also feature sculptures and paintings by nationally known artists, as well as interactive media, artifacts and exhibits. These include digital exhibits featuring the veterans who registered their biographical information and stories in the Register of Honor.

“It’s a salute to the individual,” said Melanie Poole, American Village’s Director or Marketing and Communications.

With the dedication of the National Veterans Shrine and Register of Honor, the American Village once again proves its commitment to our nation’s founding principles and our veterans. Together, the shrine and register serve as compelling reminders that “freedom is not free,” Poole said.

However, this new project’s success depends on the public’s cooperation. If you are a veterans or active member of the U.S. Armed Forces, we urge you to share your story and photographs through the Register of Honor. These personal stories are the most compelling way for us to honor our veterans and remember our country’s military history.

We hope you will support this worthy project and our veterans by attending the National Veterans Shrine dedication on Feb. 17.

 The editorial is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.