County’s fallen from WWII to be remembered
A Peabody woman will share her research on Marion County soldiers who died in World War II during a presentation Monday in Marion.
Melissa Methvin will present “Stories Behind the Marion County Gold Stars Program” at 7 p.m. at Marion City Library’s Santa Fe Room.
She will share photos of soldiers who died, tell some of their’ stories, and give general overviews about where they served, where they are buried, and dates of their deaths.
Methvin started to compile information two years ago while working with a national group called Story Behind the Stars.
She wrote biographies on every service member she could find who died in WWII.
She read about the project in a magazine from her alma mater, Brigham Young University.
Fellow alumnus Don Milne had started doing a similar project.
“I thought, ‘that sounds interesting, maybe I’ll write a couple,’” Methvin said. “There was a list of 26 in Marion County. What I didn’t realize was, the list they gave me was just the Army.”
Navy and Army Air Corps records only are sorted by the state.
“It’s been shocking to me that we can have so much information and not have it available to us,” she said.
She looked through microfilm, newspapers, and on websites such as findagrave.com and ancestry.com.
“They’re hoping, by the 80th anniversary of WWII, to have all 421,000 U.S. WWII Gold Star families on the website fold3.com,” Methvin said. “I have a book with all my stories in it. If I have a picture, I’ll present a picture of them.”
She thinks her research is done, but she thought so two weeks ago, when she was walking through Marion’s cemetery and found yet another soldier not on her list.
When she’s certain she has included all the county’s WWII Gold Star soldiers, she plans to compile the information into a book.
The stories she wrote will be accessible through both fold3.com, named for a traditional flag folding ceremony in which the third fold is made in honor and remembrance of veterans who served in defense of their country and to maintain peace throughout the world, and findagrave.com.
Community members who have additional photos, histories, or other information on any of these soldiers are welcome to share with her by calling Marion City Library at (620) 382-2442 to convey a message.