Four Wilmington war heroes, all Medal of Honor recipients, will receive stars during Celebrate Wilmington’s Walk of Fame induction ceremony Saturday, Aug. 9.
“This year is the first year we decided to go with the military theme,” said Robert Lewis, Cape Fear River Watch education specialist. “We felt that it was fitting to honor some military members in this community.” Though the 2014 induction is posthumous, Lewis said, “These are four men who the city of Wilmington can be extremely proud of.”
Lewis and his team have criteria they look for when selecting new members for the Walk of Fame. Potential inductees are usually nationally and locally recognized as important in their fields. Inductees also must be born or raised, attend school, live for longer than a few months, or be buried in the Cape Fear region to be nominated as a new member.
The Walk of Fame consists of stones that are permanently set into the walk, located by the Water Street entrance of the Cotton Exchange in downtown Wilmington. Each stone is marked with a star, the Celebrate Wilmington logo, the inductee’s signature and year of induction.
Typically, the Walk of Fame only introduces one or two members each year, but Celebrate Wilmington felt this year needed to be an exception. Four veterans, Edwin Anderson (Engagement at Vera Cruz), William Halyburton (World War II), Charles Murray Jr. (World War II) and Eugene Ashley Jr. (Vietnam War) are this year’s inductees.
“Winning the Medal of Honor means you have done something above and beyond just being a hero,” Lewis said. “It is one of the most prestigious honors in the country and we are fortunate enough to have four different recipients over seven decades.”
The induction ceremony will start at 4 p.m. Aug. 9. Lewis will speak about all four inductees before guest speaker Wilbur Jones addresses the audience. Jones is a retired U.S. Navy veteran and military historian who now lives in Wilmington.
Finally, Lewis and the Celebrate Wilmington team will unveil the stones and the four inductees will officially become members of the Wilmington Walk of Fame.
“I think this an exciting event for the community,” Lewis said. “The city of Wilmington will learn about and honor four of its finest members.”
For more information, or to nominate someone for the walk, visit www.celebratewilmington.org