Forkland Heritage Festival adds a special salute to veterans

Published 8:56 am Tuesday, October 10, 2017

FORKLAND —  An appreciation program to honor military veterans will be a new feature of the 2017 Forkland Heritage Festival & Revue Oct. 13-14. The program “Honoring Forkland’s Military Heritage: A Salute to Veterans”  is set for 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14 on the outside stage, to recognize the military legacy of the community which will be proclaimed a “Purple Heart Community” by the national and local chapter of Military Order of the Purple Heart. This is the 46th year the community has held a festival to highlight the heritage of the area and its people. 

“For many years, the Community Center has featured a room with items recognizing those who have served in the military,” said Dr. Tim Lea,  director of veteran services at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson, Mississippi. Lea, who has ties with Forkland through his wife’s Noe family in the Forkland community, is in charge of the program.

“In honoring the Forkland’s military heritage with an acknowledgement of the dedication of Hazel Overstreet, who maintained the veterans exhibit for many years, this year’s theme is ‘Serving County, Serving  Community,'” said Lea, a retired Air Force veteran.

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“The Forkland Community Center committee believes it most appropriate to salute the veterans by including something like this program during the Heritage Festival & Revue,” Lea said.

The Wall of Honor will feature photographs of servicemen in uniform will be in the hall of the Community Center throughout the festivities. For the wall to occur, veterans and/or their family members are encouraged to bring a picture. Veterans also will receive special discount coupons for use at the festival food booths.

The program will begin with a rendition of each of the U.S. Armed Forces service songs on fiddle by 2016 Miss Kentucky Outstanding Teen Chapel Tinius.

Retired Brigadier General Howard Hunt of Danville will be the keynote speaker and his wife, Aprile, will sing the National Anthem. The Caswell Saufley Post 18 of the American Legion in Stanford will present colors, taps and provide a 21-gun salute.

Miss Boyle County 2017 Gabriella Campos will present a patriotic wreath to recognize deceased veterans. The Purple Heart Proclamation will be announced as well.

Lea said he got involved in the project because of his connection to the Noe family, and to recognize all veterans in the Forkland area for their service.

“My involvement is dedicated to the men and women in the Noe family who served in Armed Forces and especially Milton, Foster, and Billy Noe,” Lea said. Milton and Foster served in World War II and Billy served during  the Korean War.

Lea and his wife Debbie, daughter of Sylvia Ann (Noe) Blair, and niece of the Noe brothers, have been to the festival several times.

Harrison M. Powars was killed November 24, 1944, during World War II battle. He is buried in Lorraine, France.