Descendant of Civil War veteran pays tribute at grave ceremony
WICHITA FALLS (KFDX / KJTL) – A descendant of a Civil War veteran recently found buried at Wichita County Cemetery was fortunate enough to pay their respects to the Union Soldier this afternoon in a ceremony near from the grave.
David Smith said he was surprised how many people showed up at the ceremony at his great-great-grandfather’s grave.
âThis morning when we left we weren’t expecting any of this so it caught us a bit off guard. But we appreciate anything that has come forward to honor him, âSmith said.
Thanks to the work of the volunteers of the Disabled American Veterans and the Green Knights Military Motorcycle Club, David Smith was finally able to pay homage to his great-great-grandfather, union soldier James McGuire, born in 1839.
âWe knew who he was. We even knew he was here somewhere. I just didn’t know where, âSmith said.
For nine years, volunteers from both organizations traveled to the Wichita County Cemetery to search for areas where forgotten soldiers might be buried. With only one mission in mind. Honor the dead.
âThis is the perfect story of who Wichita Falls is. It’s the amalgamation of working class people who are working very hard, who are struggling and building something bigger, âsaid Beauchamp.
Wichita County Commissioner Mark Beauchamp said it took a while, but it all fell into place after volunteers discovered James McGuire’s grave.
âI know they were looking for their loved ones and correlated the fact that he was buried here. Hence the first call to a speaker. That’s why the ball started, so to speak, âsaid Beauchamp.
Presenting Smith with a folded flag and plaque, attendees remained silent to remember the sacrifice of an American hero.
âHe usually goes unnoticed, but here we are, 89 years later, we finally recognize him for his contribution,â said Beauchamp.
A fitting greeting to all who may not have been found yet.