For Memorial Day, Tennessee Governor Honors Four Families Who Lost Loved Ones

The ceremony honored Sergeant Jacob Schwallie of Clarksville, who died two weeks ago in Afghanistan; PFC Glenn Schoenmann of Grundy County, who reportedly died as POW in Korea; Staff Sergeant Christopher Ward of Oak Ridge, who died in Afghanistan in early April; and Marine Lance Corporal Ben Gearheart, who died in a training accident at Camp Pendleton in 1997. Photo Credit Leah Terry / WPLN

The ceremony honored Sergeant Jacob Schwallie of Clarksville, who died two weeks ago in Afghanistan; PFC Glenn Schoenmann of Grundy County, who reportedly died as POW in Korea; Staff Sergeant Christopher Ward of Oak Ridge, who died in Afghanistan in early April; and Marine Lance Corporal Ben Gearheart, who died in a training accident at Camp Pendleton in 1997. Photo Credit Leah Terry / WPLN

Governor Bill Haslam met this morning with several families of young men who died serving America’s military, ahead of the state’s Memorial Day ceremony.

The event took place on the plaza outside the War Memorial Building downtown, where Haslam said he often walks, and noted an inscription of a quote from Woodrow Wilson: “America is privileged to spend her blood and her might for those principals that gave her birth.”

Nice words on a building, Haslam says, but survivors at the event have felt it:

“The sacrifice gets real real.  It’s great for people like me to talk in platitudes but there’s families here that have had to make that very real.”

Among those honored were two soldiers killed by bombs in Afghanistan in just the last two months.  Also honored was a soldier who died in Korea 62 years ago, but was only recently brought home and identified.

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