May 29, 2017
It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should give thanks to God that such men lived. George S. Patton
We give thanks to the 301 men of the 67th Armored Regiment who, in the European Theatre of Operations during World War Two, gave the ultimate sacrifice. Ken McKethan's tank driver, Private Clark A. McAvoy, was among those 301 heroes.
We thank all men and women who have died in the line of duty while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
Kenneth McKethan was a native North Carolinian from Fayetteville (Cumberland County). Ken was born on December 1, 1918 to D.A. and Rebecca McKethan of the 71st township. Ken had 1 brother and 4 sisters. He attended 71st School, Louisburg College and NC State University. Ken entered military service on 17 Jun 1941. Before his overseas deployment, married Elizabeth Trawick on 1 February 1943. Kenneth separated from the Army of the United States on 07 Jan 1946. He was a father to 3 sons; Sandy, James and Robert. Kenneth taught agriculture and horticulture at 71st High School for the entirety of his teaching career. For 10 years after retirement, he taught horticulture to exceptional children at Walker Spivey School.He was a life-long member of McPherson Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville, N.C. He served, acting upon his commitment to Jesus Christ, McPherson Church as a deacon, elder and a member of various committees. Ken passed away at Hope MIlls Retirement Center in Hope Mills, N.C. on March 18, 2011.
2nd Platoon, Company H, 3rd Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment, 2nd Armored Division
SILVER STAR, SILVER SAND
At the last, he opened up like the famous night flower,
gave a glimpse of the bigness that lived inside him.
In his final days, he spoke sentiments we never knew he held.
Locked in tight, now loosened, he tied knots of relationship,
apologized he had been feeling bad,
asked, worried, if he had made my daughter sad.
In the final moments, I told him not to wrest one more tube
from his bleeding arm. He looked at me in full-blown lament,
and asked, Well, why not? At the end when I didn’t come
fast enough, he called for me, and of course, I came.
Stayed all night, followed every order to the letter,
listened to the teacher explain how to tamp down the top
of the ice cream drum, put away the sherbet he had been served
he had no fondness for anyway, even when he could taste,
but now, he couldn’t swallow.
He told us what we all those years had longed to hear:
He loved us. He loved us all, repeated that again and again, thanked
us for all we’d done for him. He told us to turn off the light
over his bed, but to leave the door a-jar. He told us three ladies, waiting,
we could leave his bedside, now; it was time he went to sleep.
Good night, he said, and smiled. He turned away, tucked himself
into the shadows of fading light, the silvery hourglass sands
descending slowly through the night, falling
into morning of the waking day.
Joanna McKethan, Artist/Author, SW, WSNC, www.joriginals.net/