Jasper's great Alabama homecoming

By Katie Herrera

JASPER, AL (WBRC) - The city of Jasper paid a special tribute to its veterans and soldiers Saturday. The ceremony was a part of The Great Alabama Homecoming, where over 200 cities in Alabama are celebrating their unique heritage. Jasper's celebration focused on Memorial Park.

Saturday the city unveiled a historic marker for Memorial Park. It's the city's oldest and largest park. In 1949, it was dedicated to World War veterans.

The ceremony was complete with a 21 gun salute and the raising of the American flag.

City Councilman Morris Studdard said, "In the ten years I've been serving on the city council, this has been one of the greatest honors I've been privileged to be a part of because I do love our veterans."

A few World War veterans were at the ceremony, and were proud to still be recognized today.

"It's something you can't explain. I can't. It's wonderful," said Travis J. Phillips, a World War II ARMY veteran.

"We have it so good. There have been so many sacrifices through the years," said Stanley A. Wade, a World War II Air Corps veteran.

But the ceremony celebrated all soldiers, past and present. For Patty Gilmore, who lost her son overseas, it had a special meaning.

"I realized there are so many more who are doing the same thing, so I just felt compelled to come out and show my support," said Gilmore.

And Gilmore sent this message to the troops: "Soldiers from all the branches keep on fighting, because Ms. Gilmore will continue to keep all of you in her prayers."

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