Bricks for Walk of Honor available
for purchase at $50 each at City Hall

By Rozella Hardin
Phil Ellis is proud of his American heritage, but he is even more proud of the fact that several in his family have served in the military and in the various wars that this country has been involved in. "They have been involved in every war from the Revolutionary to Vietnam," he said recently.
In their honor and memory, Ellis and his family have purchased 12 bricks for the Elizabethton/Carter County Veterans Walk of Honor. Each brick, made of black granite stone, will be inscribed in silver letters with the name of each veteran and their branch of service.
Among those Ellis purchased bricks for are Henry "Hal" Massengill and Joseph Ellis. "Joseph Ellis was my great-great-grandfather and he was in the Battle of Kings Mountain. Hal Massengill was my wife's great-great-grandfather," Ellis explained.
Others for whom a brick has been purchased include Frederick Lewis and William "Colonel" Shell, Civil War veterans; F.D. "Ted" Wingfield, a veteran of World War I; Iris Jenkins Ellis, Jack T. Ellis, Harold R. Ellis and Gon Z. Robinson, World War II veterans; Walter Pat Ellis and Phil Ellis, veterans of the Korean War; and Kenneth Rasnick, the Vietnam War.
"Fred Lewis served in the Union Army. Pap Lewis was conscripted by the Confederates. He came out of the Confederate Army, got married, and joined the Union Army. Col. Shell was also conscripted by the Confederate Army," Phil said. Col. Shell, who lived in "old" town, was active in the Southern Methodist Church and was well-known around town as was Fred Lewis.
Iris Jenkins, who served in the Navy, was married to Phil's brother, Harold, who served in the U.S. Marines.
"Dad had four boys and they all ended up in combat," exclaimed Ellis, who served in the Korean Conflict. "I was in the Army for two years, and a year of that was in Korea."
Ellis, a native of the Keenburg Community, grew up on Academy Street with the Shell family. "My mother died when I was three, so I lived with my grandparents," he explained.
"The purchase of the bricks is a family project and is our way of showing how proud we are of the men and women in our family who have gone to war and served our country. It is our way of remembering them," Ellis said.
He is still active in the MIA project and works as an unpaid volunteer for the Department of Defense. "I have contacted all 19 families in Upper East Tennessee, who had family members missing in the Korean War," Ellis said. "We were fortunate as a family in that each person for whom we have purchased a brick came back home. Other families were not so fortunate," he said.
Ellis' wife, Shirley, serves as Regent of the John Carter Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.
The bricks for the Veterans Walk of Honor costs $50 each, with all proceeds going to the Walk of Honor, which will be located on the railroad right-of-way at Pine Street between Elk Avenue and E Street.
"More than 6,000 veterans now live in Carter County. Almost half are under the age of 65. We hope to have as many veterans, both living and deceased, represented in the Walk of Honor as possible," said Deacon Bowers, chairman of the Elizabethton/Carter County Veterans War Memorial committee and project sponsor.
The deadline to purchase a brick for the Walk of Honor is Jan. 2, 2004. After the deadline, bricks will be ordered and construction on the Walk of Honor will begin.
The Walk of Honor will salute all Carter County veterans now in service as well as those who have been honorably discharged, according to Bowers. Veterans must have either been born or once lived in Carter County, he added.
Flags of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and POW/MIA will also be flown at the Walk of Honor. POWs and MIAs from Carter County and other recipients of distinguished service medals will also be featured in the Walk of Honor, Bowers said.
"Like the Veterans War Memorial, the Walk of Honor will be something all residents can take pride in. It will also be a permanent reminder of the sacrifices made by Carter County veterans and their families in serving their country," Bowers said.
Bricks may be purchased at City Hall in the office of Brad Moffitt, financial director.