World War II Veteran honored with grave marker in Florence

Lt. Darrell Russell was a World War II veteran and POW.

Posted: Nov 22, 2019 5:02 PM
Updated: Nov 22, 2019 7:00 PM

A Shoals World War II veteran and prisoner of war was honored Friday at a special grave marking ceremony off of Chisholm Road in Florence.

Lt. Darrell Russell died in 2010. In the wake of grief his family didn't put any identifying markers on his grave for his military service. That's now changing thanks to other veterans.

Russell's children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren were all in attendance for the ceremony to honor him. Taps were played and a 21 gun salute was fired. Lt. Russell's youngest daughter, Juanita Williams, was presented with a flag.

"Very proud. Very honored that he was recognized for what he went through. He was a young man 23 years old," said Williams with tears in her eyes as she talked about her father. "The veterans did a wonderful job pulling together a program for him."

Lt. Darrell Russell was captured by the Germans in World War II, but he survived, came home and started his family. He and his wife had 9 children.

"He didn't talk about it as a child but as I got older I heard snippets," said Williams.

Before Lt. Russell died in he became close friends with Tom McKnight. The two history buffs and veterans shared many stories with each other and when McKnight found out Russell's grave wasn't properly marked he knew he had to do something.

"I had an opportunity to do something meaningful and be a part of a healing process," said McKnight.

Right now Russell's marker is being made with his military duty and honors on it. Then it will go on his final resting place for younger generations to recognize how freedom is not free.

"Listen to the stories they are the best story tellers and document it. He was a great writer and documented some of it for us and pass it down to the next generation," said Williams.

Every veteran is entitled to get a free marker at their grave. If your family member served and doesn't have a marker contact your local veterans administration service officer.

Click to Submit Photo

 

 

Huntsville
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 66°
Florence
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 63°
Fayetteville
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 61°
Decatur
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 66°
Scottsboro
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 66°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 155915

Reported Deaths: 2674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22861374
Mobile14468314
Tuscaloosa10148139
Montgomery9875196
Madison915094
Shelby720462
Lee649665
Baldwin647569
Marshall433049
Calhoun418960
Etowah418749
Morgan403635
Houston369232
DeKalb330229
Elmore314852
St. Clair287142
Limestone276530
Walker272293
Talladega261035
Cullman235724
Lauderdale214841
Jackson210015
Autauga202330
Franklin202131
Colbert196731
Russell19233
Blount189325
Dallas186227
Chilton184132
Escambia171929
Coffee171710
Covington169929
Dale165451
Chambers133643
Pike132313
Tallapoosa130587
Clarke130017
Marion106229
Butler100140
Barbour9979
Marengo99222
Winston91313
Geneva8527
Pickens82417
Lawrence82131
Randolph81216
Bibb81114
Hale74930
Clay72912
Cherokee72614
Lowndes70328
Monroe64010
Henry6396
Bullock63717
Washington63412
Crenshaw60230
Perry5836
Wilcox56212
Fayette56113
Conecuh55713
Cleburne5438
Macon52920
Sumter47021
Lamar4665
Choctaw38812
Greene34216
Coosa2023
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 237907

Reported Deaths: 3011
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby34892558
Davidson30302330
Knox1217488
Hamilton11368105
Rutherford11274110
Williamson680255
Sumner5788108
Wilson451455
Putnam425754
Montgomery398851
Out of TN382836
Unassigned38224
Madison369679
Bradley347923
Sullivan339546
Sevier324121
Washington324146
Blount319132
Maury313937
Robertson253741
Hamblen237943
Tipton226022
Dyer209627
Gibson208238
Hardeman182132
Coffee179920
Trousdale17517
Obion167820
Greene161851
Bedford161720
Anderson161114
Fayette160522
Dickson160419
Wayne15697
Loudon156610
McMinn156433
Cumberland156124
Lawrence152618
Jefferson149220
Weakley146725
Carter146532
Monroe139528
Warren138710
Henderson137925
Lauderdale136717
Hardin135219
Macon128625
Franklin124416
Roane12237
Haywood121027
Overton116512
Hawkins114224
White113314
Johnson11177
Carroll110525
McNairy109926
Marshall10859
Rhea106316
Cheatham100011
Bledsoe9994
Lake9753
Cocke96612
Smith96212
Giles92134
Campbell9118
Fentress8778
Lincoln8363
Crockett80320
Henry75610
Hickman75113
Marion7249
Chester71514
DeKalb69017
Decatur64811
Grainger5514
Grundy53511
Union5173
Claiborne5086
Polk48313
Jackson4345
Humphreys4244
Morgan4227
Houston39915
Benton3979
Cannon3962
Unicoi3842
Clay38314
Lewis3602
Scott3514
Sequatchie3294
Stewart3128
Meigs3005
Perry2611
Moore2542
Pickett2527
Van Buren1971
Hancock1133

Community Events