World War I soldiers honored at Florence memorial service

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) - On this Veterans Day, thousands across the Tennessee Valley gathered to honor the men and women who have served in the armed forces and those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country’s freedom.

With every bell toll Tuesday morning, the name of a soldier from Lauderdale county who died in World War I was read to the crowd gathered at the Veteran’s Memorial in Florence.

A somber mood came over the crowd as the names of 46 men from Lauderdale county were read.

“We try to honors those who have sacrificed their life for our country, for our communities,” explained Mary Day Smith, Adjutant for the American Legion Post 11.

Smith said this Veterans Day takes on another special meaning.

She said the American Legion was formed as soldiers were preparing to leave Paris at the end of World War I.

A brotherhood created to focus on veterans, service members and the communities they represent.

Smith said she felt honored to take part in the reading of her forefather’s names for everyone to remember.

“It’s an honor to be able to honor all of the World War I veterans who actually sacrificed for our country and created the American Legion,” Smith stated.

American Legion members say there are 8,000 veterans from Lauderdale county who have served or who are still serving in the armed forces.