ASHBURN, GA (WALB) - We're broadcasting from Elrod Park in downtown Ashburn. It was built in 2010 to honor a great American hero and has turned into much more.
The park is named after Major Henry T. Elrod, a Turner County native who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the U.S. military's highest award for valor.
The Marine Corps aviator died leading his men in World War II.
"My fire chief, right after I became mayor came up and asked me. He said, 'Mayor, why is there not a plaque or a memorial for Henry T. Elrod?' And I said 'I don't know.' I didn't even know who the man was. We had a very famous hero from Turner County," said Mayor Jim Hedges.
HENRY TALMAGE ELROD was born on 27 September 1905, in Rebecca, Ga. He entered service in Ashburn. He won the Medal of Honor in the Battle for Wake Island, in 1941. Elrod shot down two of a flight of 22 hostile planes, and helped sink a large Japanese vessel.
It was the first major warship to be destroyed by small caliber bombs delivered from a fighter-type aircraft.
Read more from the Home of Heroes website... http://www.homeofheroes.com/moh/citations_1940_wwii/elrod.html
Families can add their own memorial benches in Elrod Park.
There's also a wall of honor put up by the American Legion Post 98, where veterans or their families can add a plaque to recognize their own hero.