Hundreds Dedicate Camp Fannin Memorial - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/2/05-Smith County

Hundreds Dedicate Camp Fannin Memorial

It was a historic day for veterans of World War II who trained at Camp Fannin in Smith County.

Hundreds of people from East Texas to Ohio gathered at UT-Health Center, where the military training camp used to be. The Camp Fannin Association unveiled a memorial honoring the 250,000 soldiers who passed through Camp Fannin some 60 years ago.

It was an emotional day, as the veterans shared memories and hopes for visitors who will see the bronze statue of a soldier for years to come.

"I want them to think about not only what the military had to go through during World War II, but our civilians also," Kenneth James, a retired Sergeant First Class of the U.S. Army, said. "The civilians did without so many things and worked so hard to support our military."

The memorial dedication coincided with the 62nd annual Camp Fannin reunion that wraps up this evening.

Tomorrow night on KLTV 7 News at 10: More emotional moments, as we hear from the statue's sculptor. He'll talk about why the memorial has special meaning for his family and he'll share some "hidden gems" on the statue that people can look for when they visit.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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