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Doughboy re-dedication kicks off the 2010 Rivers and Spires Festival

 

The Rivers and Spires FestivalThe 8th Annual Rivers and Spires kicked off today with the unveiling the refurbished Doughboy statue honoring World War vets. The Statue was rededicated in a ceremony in front of the Clarksville Transit Station on Legion Street where the statue will remain on display.

The Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle led the drive to raise the funds needed to renovate the badly damaged statue. Current publisher Andrew Oppmann welcomed the crowd to the ceremony, then after the posting of the colors and the playing of the national anthem, former publisher Gene Washer took over at the podium.

Washer said “I made the initial inquiries about restoring the statue, and that was the quickest way to be given the job.” to which the crowd laughed.

The Doughboy Statue after the unveiling

The Doughboy Statue after the unveiling

The Save our Doughboy committee was made up of Doug Barber, Ned Crouch, Jim Durrett, Dan Hanley, Theresa Harrington, Thomya Jenkins, Frank Lott, Alane S. Megna, Andrew Oppmann, Mayor Johnny Piper, Alan Robinson, Richard V. Stevens, Vicki T. Wallace, Gene Washer, Eleanor Williams, and Scott Wise who was the restoration’s projects sculptor.


Eleanor Williams the Montgomery County Historian

Eleanor Williams the Montgomery County Historian

Eleanor Williams the Montgomery County Historian gave a short history of the Doughboy statue from its original placement at the old Clarksville High School on Greenwood Avenue, to it’s relocation to the National Guard Armory on Fort Campbell Blvd. She also ran through several theories on why the WWI soldiers were called Doughboys, and pointed out that the statue does not say “World War I” instead it says “World War” due to the fact that at the time it was originally created there had only been one.

Andrew Oppmann then presented the statue to the City of Clarksville on behalf of the committee, which accepted by Clarksville Mayor Johnny Piper.

The statue was unveiled by George Edward York and Betsy York Lowery, the children of Tennessee’s most notable World War I hero Sergeant Alvin C. York. They were joined by other children of WWI veterans many of whom brought photos of their family member with them.

George Edward York

George York was a fiery speaker who was able to stir up the crowd. He ended his remarks by singing a patriotic song from the first world war.

Don’t Bite the Hand That’s Feeding You

Last night, as I lay a sleeping,
A wonderful dream came to me.
I saw Uncle Sammy weeping
For his children from over the sea;
They had come to him, friendless and starving,
When from tyrant’s oppression they fled,
But now they abuse and revile him,
Till at last in just anger he said:

If you don’t like your Uncle Sammy,
Then go back to your home o’er the sea,
To the land from where you came,
Whatever be its name,
But don’t be ungrateful to me!
If you don’t like the stars in Old Glory,
If you don’t like the Red, White and Blue,
Then don’t act like the cur in the story,
Don’t bite the hand that’s feeding you!

You recall the day you landed,
How I welcomed you to my shore?
When you came here empty handed,
And allegiance forever you swore?
I gathered you close to my bosom,
Of food and of clothes you got both,
So, when in trouble, I need you,
You will have to remember your oath:

If you don’t like your Uncle Sammy,
Then go back to your home o’er the sea,
To the land from where you came,
Whatever be its name,
But don’t be ungrateful to me!
If you don’t like the stars in Old Glory,
If you don’t like the Red, White and Blue,
Then don’t act like the cur in the story,
Don’t bite the hand that’s feeding you!

Brig. Gen. Stephen Townsend is overcome with emotion after taps was played

Brig. Gen. Stephen Townsend is overcome with emotion after taps was played

Mayor Piper and Brig. Gen. Sephen Townsend then placed a wreath on the Memorial, and as taps was played a volley of gunfire solemnized the occasion. Then the colors were retired, and the 101st Airborne Division Chaplain gave the benediction.

With the re-dedication finished many of the attendees moved to the Public Square Stage to catch a free performance of The Roxy Regional Theatre’s High School Musical 2. While others headed to the Patchwork Premier, a new event for area seniors.

River and Spires continues tomorrow, and Saturday. See the complete schedule at:

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About Bill Larson

    Bill Larson

    Bill Larson is the Creator and Publisher of Clarksville Online, and works as a network administrator for Compu-Net Enterprises. He is politically and socially active in the community. Bill serves on the board of the Clarksville Community Concert Association, and is a member of the Friends of Dunbar Cave.

    You can reach him via telephone at 931-249-0043 or via the email address below.

    Email: clarksville@clarksvilleonline.com

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