Alamo woman remembers fallen brother

ALAMO, Tenn. — Many are preparing for Memorial Day weekend festivities, whether it is a cookout or a day at the lake.

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However you choose to commemorate the holiday, take some time to remember the reason for the weekend.

According to the USO, a Gold Star Family is one who lost their military member in the line of duty.

“I know he joined the service in January of 1942, and he was killed in 1944,” Frazier Churchwell’s youngest sister Monrose Hutchison said.

Hutchison was just two years old when her older brother, Frazier Churchwell, left to serve in the army in World War II.

Churchwell was stationed in Wisconsin prior to leaving for war, and he had a wife named Lois.

Hutchison says they weren’t married long when he left.

“He was shipped out to patrol in Normandy, and a German sniper shot him in the back,” Hutchison said.

He was also stabbed in the back with a sword, which paralyzed and killed him.

Hutchison was only four when her brother died.

“They always told me that he could not wait to get home to see me because I was the baby,” Hutchison said.

He was killed after only two weeks at war.

“They brought him home, his remains home, in 1948. He’s buried out there in the Nance Cemetery,” Hutchison said.

The family grew up in the Nance Community in Crockett County.

Churchwell was one of nine young men from the community killed in the war.

“They were all really good friends. It really took a toll on the community there,” Hutchison said.

Hutchison grew up not knowing her brother, but heard from many who knew him.

“They always had very nice things to say about him, and what a good Christian boy he was. Everybody in the community loved him and thought a lot of him,” Hutchison said.

She is honored to be a part of a Gold Star Family, and says Memorial Day has a special meaning for her.

“To me, it means honoring our veterans and those that have gone on and those that are still fighting for our country and our freedoms,” Hutchison said.

The Gold Star Family originated during World War I, where families displayed small banners with blue stars to show they had a family member in the military, and replaced it with a gold star if they died while serving.

The Gold Star lapel pin was created in 1947 for immediate family members of the fallen solider to wear.

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