Three of Farm Bureau’s Hometown Heroes
Roxboro Rotary Club
It’s been three years since the Roxboro Rotary Club organized a bus trip for all of the living veterans of World War II from Person County to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Members called it the Person County Ride of Honor. Still, the memories of the experiences from May 7, 2007 resonate throughout the community. Person County Farm Bureau Members Bayard Crumpton and Adam White were on the committee that put together the trip for more than 100 veterans, several of whom also were Farm Bureau members. Veterans who lived near each other but hadn’t talked about their war experiences for decades reminisced and soaked in tributes that left many in tears from Roxboro to the nation’s capital. “The opportunity just presented itself,” says Crumpton, who presented the idea to the club after seeing a CBS News report about a similar endeavor in Hendersonville. “The timing was right. The organization was right. It rolled out in an orderly fashion. We were just lucky enough to be around to be a part of it. I feel very fortunate to be in an area and a community like this.” Person County residents got behind the effort so heartily that two years to the day after the trip, the Roxboro Rotary Club used leftover funds to erect a World War II monument in front of the county courthouse. Along with the monument, the trip still is talked about often in coffee shops, tobacco fields and on front porches throughout Person County several committee members say.
“The more we look back at it, the bigger it gets. You treasure it now more than you ever have,” says Debbie Barker, another committee member. Randy King, who also helped to organize the trip, went with his father, who soon will turn 87. Rotary Club members admit that it would be difficult to top the success of the Ride of Honor. “It was a reunion of all Person County folks who all had a common purpose, who all served. It was almost like a family reunion,” says David Bradsher, who also served on the organization committee. “Had they not done what was done, we wouldn’t enjoy the lifestyle we have today. We don’t know where we would be. This was the supreme sacrifice for America during the period of time.”