The Baker County Historical Society dedicated the live oak tree that welcomes visitors to the society headquarters on McIver Street to the late World War II veteran Elgin Barnes last month.
Mr. Barnes served in the Army’s 79th Infantry Division that landed in Normandy, France on June 11, 1944. He was wounded in battle about a month later at age 19.
“The family and I are thankful Elgin was the man he was that others remember him with words and monuments,” his widow Dorothy Mobley Barnes said after the dedication.
“The historical society has been and remains a large part of the Barnes family’s life and Baker County. The tree is a rather young oak, as oaks go, that will give beauty and shade for all who have eyes to see,” she said.
Mr. Barnes received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals as well as the French Legion of Medal of Honor just a few years ago.
He died in 2011 at 85 years old.
Mr. Barnes family and friends attended the dedication ceremony at 5 pm on June 22 alongside members of the historical society. The date marked his birthday.
Following the war, Mr. Barnes worked as auto mechanic and spent more than 30 years with the Civilian Service at Naval Air Station Cecil.
Following retirement, he joined the historical society and performed genealogical research for local families with his wife and brother in law Carl W. Mobley.