Tuscumbia to Host Veterans Service Sunday at 2 pm

By  | November 8, 2019 | Filed under: News

 TUSCUMBIA– The City of Tuscumbia will host a special service honoring the town’s veterans on Sunday, November 10, at 2 pm. Hosted by the City of Tuscumbia Bicentennial Commission, the service will take place in front of the Veterans’ flagpole in Tuscumbia’s Oakwood Cemetery. The event is free; all are encouraged to attend.

Bicentennial historian Ron Hudson will facilitate the service, which includes special music, a welcome from Mayor Kerry Underwood, and recognition of veterans attending the ceremony.

“We really have a unique situation in Tuscumbia with Oakwood Cemetery having so many veterans from every war going back to the Revolutionary War,” Hudson said. “Anyone interested in local history and in veteran history should attend Sunday at 2 pm. We will share interesting stories about the veterans in this community.”

Bicentennial historian John McWilliams will present the history of Oakwood Cemetery as it relates to veterans, sharing interesting stories about those who served our country.

“We will celebrate our veterans and the part they played in Tuscumbia history,” McWilliams said. “Not many realize that both an admiral and a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient were born and raised right here. We’ll share their stories and a few more.”

 Lt. Col. Arthur Graves will serve as the keynote speaker, sharing city history. A graduate of Trenholm High School and Tuskegee University, Lt. Col. Graves served in the United States Air Force for 20 years.

The ceremony will conclude with a cemetery tour led by Mr. McWilliams.

Lt. Col. Arthur D. Graves

Biography for Lt. Col. Arthur D. Graves
Lt. Col. Arthur D. Graves is a graduate of Trenholm High School and Tuskegee University. He earned a Master’s degree from Tennessee State University and the Ed.S from the University of North Alabama. In 1949, he began his teaching career as a public school teacher at the Old Courtland Colored High School, where he served for one year, and later taught at Decatur High School for one year. While living in Lawrence County,
he began working for his uncle, Mr. George Reynolds, at Reynolds Funeral Home in Decatur, Alabama. Mr. Graves then entered the United States Air Force and remained in the service for twenty years. Upon retirement from the Air Force, he taught fourteen years at the University of North Alabama, three of those years as Assistant to the President. In 1981, he saw the opportunity to fulfill his lifelong aspiration to own his own business. So, he purchased Thompson and Son Funeral Home, which he and his family have owned and operated for over thirty years. He is also the developer of A.D. Graves Subdivision, Hwy 20, Hillsboro, Alabama.
Lt. Col. Arthur D. Graves received his commission in 1949 after completing Air Force ROTC at Tuskegee Institute and entered active service in 1951. His stateside service includes Primary Pilot Training, Hondo AFB Texas and Basic Pilot Training, Reese AFB Texas and duty assignments in Laredo AFB Texas; Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Alabama; Brookley AFB, Mobile, Alabama; Eglin AFB, Florida. His foreign service includes Moulin AFB, France; Daharan AFB, Saudi Arabia; Clark AFB, Philippine Islands; Headquarters Southern Command, Panama Canal Zone.
Mr. Graves is a charter member of the Shoals Industrial Development Authority, former director of American Educators Life Insurance Company and Mutual Savings Life Insurance Company, former member of the UNA President’s Cabinet and the Colbert County Democratic Executive Committee, and member of the NAACP, the Alabama Democratic Conference, the Trenholm High School Reunion Executive Committee, and the Shoals Tuskegee Alumni Club. He served for two years on the Alabama Board of Funeral Service.
Mr. Graves is a devoted member of Lesley Temple C.M.E. Church, where he is proudly the oldest male member of the church. He serves on the Steward Board and is a Sunday school teacher. He is also the host of his Sunday morning radio program on WZZA.
He is married to Mrs. Jean Long Graves, and they are the parents of three children: Dr. Lisa Graves Minor (Julian), Professor Emerita of English at the University of North Alabama, Atty. Kenneth D. Graves (Tamekia), Chief Legal Officer for Huntsville Hospital, and the late Atty. Sherri Graves Smith (William). They are the proud grandparents of two, Leslie Minor and Kristen Graves.
His life is one of service to God, to family, to country, to community, and to others.

Media Release/Lorie Johnson
Ninon Parker
Tuscumbia Bicentennial Commission Co-chairs

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