"To know that we honored five Texas Men who gave all that they had for something that they believed in, a cause they believed in, and a cause that we honor and trust."
Those are the words of Shirley Woodlock, the President of the Texas Division of the United Daughters of The Confederacy, telling us why the group brought a memorial marker to Meridian.
"This celebration today is for five Texans buried in the confederate mound here. They originally died where the original Number One Fire Station in Meridian is at the Day Hospital," explains Walton Moore.
Sounds of remembrance and recognition filled Meridian's Rose Hill Cemetery located on 7th Street and 40th Avenue. Family members and friends with ancestors buried in the cemetery attended the dedication of the memorial marker honoring five Texas Confederate Soldiers. This marker is especially important to Gary Max Rozzell. Although his actual hometown is in Texas, this burial site is a piece of his childhood.
"Well actually it's kind of special today because believe it or not I grew up as a child about thirty miles from here in Butler, Alabama and never knew that. I came to this cemetery as a kid," remembers Rozzell.
Officials with the Rose Hill Cemetery say they have not been able to pin point the date of the first burials there. The oldest marker that has been found is dated i 1853. However, there were burials prior to that date. No matter what the date, Rozzell believes this memorial marker will remind us all of the soldier's bravery.
"As a monument it is going to bring recognition not only to the soldiers that are here, but in remembrance of a war that is not forgotten. Soldiers that were buried here, whether they were union or confederate. We need to remember the men who fought in that war and this is a way of doing that."
The Texas division of this group was founded in Victoria, Texas on May 15, 1896. It remains one of the largest and strongest divisions. In 2008, the estimated membership of the Texas Division was over 2,700 and is organized into 86 chapters across the lone star state.