While seeking out Jack Barber's grave at Greenwood Cemetery in downtown Orlando for yesterday's post, I also paused to pay my respects to the many service men and women buried in the American Legion section.
As today is Veteran's Day, I thought it would be a good time to introduce you to one of those servicemen: Private Ben B. Brown (1896-1918), who gave his life for this country in the Aisne-Marne offensive in France during the First World War.
I wanted to learn more about Brown, and quickly found his funeral record in the Carey Hand archives at cfmemory.org.
It tells us that he was a native of Spartanburg, South Carolina. He enlisted 8 August 1917 in Orlando to serve in Company C of the 2nd Infantry, Florida National Guard. That unit was sent for training at Camp Wheeler, then shipped to France on 20 June 1918.
Poor Ben was killed in action just one month, one week, and one day later.
More tragically, he fell less than four months before Armistice Day.
While I hope all ye rabbits take a moment today to honor all veterans of all our nation's wars, please remember the holiday was originally declared to commemorate the end of the First World War--the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918--an important moment that far too many young men like Ben Brown did not live to see.