Cades Cove hosts Medal of Honor recipients
Nearly half of the 65 living Medal of Honor recipients and their families traveled to Knoxville last week for the Medal of Honor Celebration, with a delegation of 60 people embarking on a guided tour of Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Thursday, Sept. 8.
“Today we facilitated a very special opportunity to honor these American heroes for their service to our country,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “In Cades Cove, they were able to experience the gift of rest and renewal that a visit to the Smokies provides to millions of visitors each year.”
Park staff and volunteers with previous military service greeted the group at Cades Cove Visitor Center, and participants had the chance to enjoy traditional music, demonstrations and exploration of the grist mill, cantilever barn and other historic structures. Vietnam veteran employees were also presented with commemorative lapel pins to honor their service.
Participants explored the Primitive Baptist Church and cemetery where 16 veteran graves were marked with American flags and visited the Pearl Harbor tree planted on Dec. 7, 1941, by Cades Cove resident Golman Myers to commemorate the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Bernard Myers, Golman’s youngest son, was four years old when the tree was planted and was there to share the memory with attendees.
The weeklong celebration in Knoxville focused on reuniting recipients of the United States’ highest military award for valor. To accommodate the Cades Cove visit, Cades Cove Loop Road was temporarily closed to the public.