Memorial Day • May 25, 2009 in Marion, VA

Helen Vernon and Nancy Lawson, daughters of PFC Elmer B. Heath, KIA March 9, 1945, were proud to represent AWON and Gold Star Families for the 3rd annual Memorial Day Parade in Marion, VA.   As an added enhancement, 6 of the 7 grandchildren of PFC Heath’s were present and 10 of his 12 great grandchildren were in attendance.  These 2nd and 3rd generations manned the AWON float in the parade which wound down through Main Street, past the Court House which was decorated with over 300 flag draped crosses dedicated to the deceased servicemen and women connected by some relation to someone living in Smyth County.  A special place of honor was given to the brave men who gave their all for our freedom.  Their crosses were adorned with a gold star above their name.

Once again we were overcome with emotion as we rode the floats down the street and were greeted with cheers and applause from the very reverent crowd.  We were very proud of the AWON Banner that our children carried on their float.  We are successfully passing the torch to the next generation, and they in turn to the 3rd generation.

The service that followed at the VFW Post 4667 here in Marion, VA was an awesome presentation of patriotic music and flag presentations and wreath laying ceremonies.  If we could not be in Belgium at Henri-Chapelle, the next best thing is being in our home town, Marion, VA where patriotism is still alive and well.


Elmer B. Heath is remembered in Marion.


Nancy Lawson and Helen Vernon present a beautiful patriotic wreath.


Marion remembers the price of freedom.


Decedents of PFC Elmer B. Heath: Nancy & Sherman Lawson & family and Helen & Glen Vernon
& family. Front row: Hannah Vernon, Hailey Vernon, Hayden Vernon, Henry Vernon, Ian Vernon
and Ryan Vernon; 2nd Row: Tammy McElroy, Hunter McElroy, Sherman Lawson, Nancy Lawson,
Helen Vernon, Glen Vernon and Laura Vernon; 3rd Row: Mike McElroy, Amy McElroy, Cindy Brown,
Adam Vernon-Young, Keith Vernon, Teena Vernon,  Kevin Vernon, Karen Vernon,
Kelly Vernon and Jo-Ann Vernon


Helen Vernon and Nancy Lawson are joined by their Father's
twin Brother, Delmer Heath, the only one of their Father's siblings
who was able to attend the services this year.


The decendents of Elmer Heath represent AWON in Marion.

Thanks to Helen Vernon for this submission
honoring PFC Elmer B. Heath and the other fallen from the Marion area.