He isn’t part of their family. They didn’t even know him.
That didn’t stop them from collaborating on an act of kindness, though. Jerry Ream, a former Glasgow school board member, and W.S. Everett, a local U.S. veteran, decided to update the marker on United States Army Captain Edwin P. Barlow’s memorial plaque at Glasgow Municipal Cemetery. His marker needed to be replaced because his body was moved to a different cemetery.
Barlow, who was from Barren County, died in action in Normandy during World War II.
In 2011, Ream talked to a neighbor about wanting to visit Barlow’s grave after he came across his memorial plaque at the cemetery. Ream was going to make a trip to Europe, but once he looked up the location stated on the plaque he realized he wouldn’t be able to make it while on his vacation.
Or so he thought.
His neighbor told him that his body had been moved from a small town cemetery in France to France’s U.S. Normandy graveyard.
Ream said he was glad his neighbor knew that information because Normandy was a close enough trip.
“I was delighted to find out,” he said.
He wanted to visit the grave because he is very patriotic, he said.
Ream took a friend to France with him. He said they hired a private tour guide for Normandy.
“He took us on this private tour and took us to the Normandy gravesite,” Ream said. “Once you get there, you still don’t know where the gravesite is. ... You can go in (to the administration building) and tell them who you are looking for and what state the person is from and they’ll give you a little directions on a nice printed out sheet. Our tour guide then knew exactly where it was, took us right to it.”
Ream said he visited on June 6, 2011, the 67th anniversary of D-Day.
“It was a moving experience,” he said. “There was a lot of ceremonies going on. There were flyovers at the gravesites, there was the lowering of two flags ... There were a lot of men there who were dressed in American uniforms. Not just Americans. There were foreign people who lived in European countries that were dressed in American uniforms.”
He wanted other people to be able to visit Barlow’s grave in France but he knew people would end up at the wrong cemetery if his plaque was incorrect, so he decided to talk to Everett about it. He knew Everett would be the person to talk to, he said, because he does what he can for veterans.
Ream said he knew Everett from when he worked on the GSB.
“I got to know him because there were and are veterans who never got a high school diploma because of their military service,” he said. “Through Mr. Everett, we secured those names and got them a diploma from GHS.”
After receiving permission from Barlow’s family, Everett sanded down the incorrect information on the plaque and they purchased the updated marker.
On Friday afternoon, Everett screwed on the new plate.
“Kentucky is a patriotic place,” Everett said after he was finished.
Read more in the print or digital Glasgow Daily Times. http://glasgowdailytimes.cnhi.newsmemory.com/