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A medal for honor
Service marks Confederate Memorial Day
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Thad Beckum presents a Confederate sword to Marise Wilkins and Norma Jean Morgan for the United Daughters of the Confederacy to give to a museum in Charleston, S.C. - photo by Pat Donahue

Confed Memorial Day

The Sons of Confederate Veterans, Camp Davis, and the Ebenezer Rifles troop the colors.

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Richard Alton Saxon, by his own admission, doesn’t like to blow his own horn.

Sunday, he became the latest recipient of the Cross of Military Service from the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Effingham County Hussars. Saxon served two tours as a Navy chief petty officer in Vietnam.

“It means a great deal to me today,” he said, “that they would pick someone like me to bestow this award upon.”

His great-great-grandfather, William Lee, served as a private in Georgia’s Company I of the 54th Regiment in the Civil War, which the Daughters of Confederacy noted in honoring Saxon during their Confederate Memorial Day service at Veterans Park.

“As one who had ancestors who fought in the War Against Northern Aggression and to be proud from Effingham County, it’s a great honor,” he said.

It’s been 32 years since the Vietnam War ended and Saxon and his fellow Vietnam vets are seeing their service appreciated.

“I think the real Americans, we were never let down by those folks,” he said. “They knew we were called upon by the nation and the president to do what our forefathers did.”

The Daughters of the Confederacy also honored the late Earline Pearson Regan, whose father Lawrence Benton Pearson served in the Confederate Army, tending to the livestock of the cavalry. Regan passed away last Nov. 2 and is buried in the Cedar Grove Cemetery in Clyo.