Friday, May 23, 2014

Honoring our military on Memorial Day

Monday is Memorial Day, so in recognition of the men and women who serve and have served in the United States armed forces, we offer this pictorial tribute from the collections of the Tennessee State Library and Archives featured in our online exhibit, "The Volunteer State Goes to War: A Salute to Tennessee Veterans."

194th Military Police Security Platoon on Vung Chua Mountain poses before patrol. Qui Nhơn, Vietnam, 1969-1970. This photo is one of many featured in the Christoper D. Ammons Papers. Ammons' photographs show details of the daily life of soldiers in Vietnam.

Christoper D. Ammons Papers. Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Hardy A. Mitchener, Jr., of Nashville, left for Europe to serve his country during World War II on April 3, 1944. He was a navigator on board a B-17G nicknamed Li'l Ginny when Mitchener and his crew mates were shot down by enemy fighters on May 30, 1944 during a mission to bomb a German aircraft plant in Oschersleben. The Jenny Lee pictured here is a different B-17 from the one they were flying when shot down. One of Mitchener's crew mates died in the crash. The rest were captured and imprisoned. They were later rescued and returned home from the war. While Mitchener avoided physical injury during the war, he died a few short years later in 1957 from cancer. He was only 38 years old.

Hardy A. Mitchener, Jr. Collection. Tennessee State Library and Archives.

The cessation of hostilities on the Western Front during World War I took effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month — 11:00 a.m., November 11, 1918. This photograph of Brigadier General Edward L. King and his officers was taken in France just after the Armistice went into effect on November 11, 1918. Among those pictured is Colonel Luke Lea, 114th Field Artillery. For his role in the war, Lea was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. Lea was also one of the founders of the American Legion in 1919, the founder of the Nashville Tennessean as its first editor and publisher, and was a prominent and powerful politician in the state of Tennessee, having served in the United States Senate from 1911 to 1917.

Luke Lea Papers, Tennessee State Library and Archives.

Tennessee may have been the most divided state in the Civil War, for its different regions and competing ideologies battled over whether to join other Southern states in seceding or to remain in the Union. From 1861 to 1865 the state was ravaged by the war as Confederate and Union forces fought over 3,200 battles and skirmishes here. In the years that followed this bloody conflict, veterans groups from both North and South sought unity through reunions which took place throughout the nation. In this photograph Civil War veterans gather in front of the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville for a reunion on July 23, 1925.

John P. Hickman Civil War Collection. Tennessee State Library and Archives.

The State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State.

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