It’s unclear what happened to the plaque erected at Roseboro’s National Guard Armory in honor of World War II veteran and native son Geddie Herring, but one thing is for sure, something needs to be done to ensure it, or another similar memorial, is returned to its rightful place.
We thank Roland Hall and Jefferson Strickland for bringing the matter to the attention of the Roseboro Board of Commissioners earlier this week, and we encourage that board to do everything within its power to see that the most deserved honor finds its way back to the Armory. The letter they wrote to Capt. Michael Thomas of the 881st Engineer Support Company is a good first step, but we hope it won’t be their last. The board needs to be tenacious, unsatisfied with anything less than a return of the memorial and the attention and placement it deserves.
For nearly 15 years the plaque — ordered to be placed at the Armory by then Gov. Jim Hunt in 1995 dedicating the facility in honor and appreciation to Herring — has been on display, reminding everyone who passed through its halls of Herring and the tremendous sacrifices he made to his country.
Herring was a member of the U.S. Navy, a U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor recipient and an Order of the Long Leaf Pine honoree. He received the Medal of Honor for his bravery and acts of courage while in command of a heavily damaged U.S. Navy landing craft and the many lives he saved during a 36-day battle for the island of Iwo Jima. He was also Roseboro’s mayor from 1947 until 1950.
In encouraging town board members to help ensure the plaque honoring Herring is once again erected at the Armory, Hall and Strickland stressed the man’s significant contributions to country, state and county and attested to the stellar career he had and the heroic acts attributed to him.
“Something has to be done,” Strickland implored. “Mr. Herring deserves this honor.”
He is right.
It is unacceptable that the plaque is no longer anywhere to be found at the Armory. We cannot imagine why those who run the facility have allowed it to just disappear. In fact, we are appalled that the sign was ever allowed to hang askew, uncared for and unappreciated.
Herring was a hero and those charged with responsibility for the Armory should recognize that fact, if for no other reason than that the facility they work in each day was dedicated in his honor. Herring is one of them, a soldier, a veteran and a hero.
It is disgraceful that a memorial honoring his service hasn’t been cared for in the manner fitting the hero we believe Herring to be.
We can only hope Sgt. Thomas and National Guard Armory officials understand the significance of the honor and do what is right with great haste. Anything less would be a complete disservice to Herring’s memory, to our county, to Roseboro and to servicemen across our great country.
Service and courage such as that Herring exemplified deserves far better than what has happened. It must be rectified, and soon.