Phil Campbell honors fallen soldier, brother
PHIL CAMPBELL-The town of Phil Campbell honored a fallen hometown hero Friday afternoon with a special flag lowering ceremony in front of Phil Campbell High School.
Army National Guard Sgt. Tim Pennington helped the town pay tribute to Sgt. William Brown, 25, a Phil Campbell native who died last weekend while serving in Iraq.
"We want to show our total respect for the sacrifices he made for our freedom," Police Chief Merrell Potter said prior to the service.
The memorial service consisted of an M16 rifle, a hat and a pair of boots being placed in front of the flag to represent the fallen soldier.
Only the faint sounds of sniffles could only be heard as Sgt. Pennington lowered the flag to half-staff and saluted the soldier, before a teary crowd of more 30 people.
The service held in Phil Campbell is similar to the ceremony deployed soldiers hold to honor those who are killed during deployment.
Dozens of the town's residents attended the service to pay tribute to Brown. Some knew him personally, but regardless of how well they knew him, everyone was touched by the sacrifice Brown made.
"I am so grateful that we live in so great a country that people will sacrifice their life for our freedom," Veronica Dummar said.
The service was videotaped, and a copy of the tape will be sent to Brown's widow, Rachel. She will in turn send a copy to his company in Iraq.
"He will forever be a hero in the Town of Phil Campbell for the sacrifices he made," Potter said as the ceremony concluded.