Alabama National Cemetery commemorates WWI

By STEVEN CALHOUN/Staff Writer

The Alabama National Cemetery held a ceremony to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I and to honor the WWI veterans interred at the cemetery.

The flag flew at half mast on top of the hill at ALNC as veterans and families of veterans gathered to remember those who fought in service to their country. The Patriot Guard Riders surrounded the gathering, hoisting the red, white and blue as a display of patriotism.

“How we remember our veterans will never come to an end,” Herman Watkins of ALNC said.

Watkins spoke about the service veterans have provided to the country and the hardships there were on the battlefield and at home during WWI.

“The price of freedom is visible here, and freedom is not free … let us celebrate this gift of life,” Watkins said.

Janet Murphee and Johnny Curry placed a wreath in honor of all who fought in WWI.

Murphee is the daughter of Raymond King, one of two veterans interred at ALNC. King was a gunner’s mate, second-class in the U.S. Navy. He served from Dec. 10, 1917 to Aug. 4, 1919 and was interred on July 23, 2010.

“Dad was a real patriot all the way through his life,” Murphee said. “That is what we need today: patriotism in our families.”

Murphee said her father’s service inspired patriotism in her family, some of who serve in the military today.

Arden Roger Allen was a private and served as a cook in the U.S. Army. He served from June 30, 1917 to May 17, 1919 and was interred on Oct. 7, 2015.

The ceremony was concluded with a benediction and the playing of taps.