John Anderson, Guy Atkinson, Bob Harris, Homer Luyster, Paul Luyster,Francis Plumly, Richard Steele and Henry Gallagher (recently deceased but represented by his wife, Georgie).

The Barnesville Pumpkin Festival is proudly honoring eight local World War II veterans this year in recognition of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France, on June 6, 1944. 

They owe so much to these gentleman and salute the following: John Anderson (served under General Patton), Guy Atkinson (Prisoner of War), Bob Harris (Sergeant in the Air Force), Homer Luyster (Army Corporal, served in Japan), Paul Luyster (Purple Heart recipient), Francis Plumly (Army Infantry, Prisoner of War), Richard Steele (Air Force Sergeant) and the late Henry Gallagher (Electrician in the Navy) who passed away this year on June 6th, the actual 75th D-Day anniversary.

"A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces, but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers."  — President John F. Kennedy, October 1963.

This year could mark the last major D-Day milestone to commemorate their service. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, of more than 16 million Americans who served in World War II, fewer than 500,000 were still living in 2018. The youngest of these heroes are almost all in their mid- to late 90’s and soon the voices of the Greatest Generation will be forever silent.

These gentlemen put their lives on hold and answered their country’s call when it needed them most. Freedom is not free and we are better off today because of what these veterans sacrificed. So, while we still can, we honor them for their duty to our country. Thank you John, Guy, Bob, Homer, Paul, Francis, Richard and Henry.

God bless all of our veterans!