February 11, 2015
Martinsville City Council on Tuesday presented a proclamation in honor of Glenwood E. Hankins, who was one of the area’s two remaining survivors of the D-Day invasion in France before he died Saturday.
Hankins was honored by the council “for his dedicated service to our nation and for representing our city with dignity and honor both at home and in military service abroad,” the proclamation states.
Jerry Perdue of the Martinsville-Henry County Veterans Honor Guard accepted the proclamation on behalf of Hankins’ family members, who were unable to attend the council meeting.
Hankins, who was 92 at the time of his death, was a veteran of Company H of the 116th Infantry Regiment, 29th Infantry Division of the Virginia National Guard. The 29th Infantry Division was part of the first wave of 150,000 Allied troops who stormed the French beaches of Normandy during the D-Day invasion of World War II on June 6, 1944
“We’re losing our heroes from that (World War II) era very quickly,” said Councilman Mark Stroud.
Hankins received honors for his military service, including the Military Order of the Purple Heart and France’s Legion of Honor, the highest honorary decoration bestowed in that country, according to the proclamation and information online.
Hankins “continually brought pride and recognition” to Martinsville, having served with the Veterans Honor Guard and been a longtime local employee of the U.S. Postal Service, the proclamation adds.
“I’m quite sure this community is a better place” as a result of Hankins’ endeavors, Perdue told the council.
The late Hankins received a standing ovation from those attending the council meeting.
City flags at the intersection of Memorial Boulevard and Fayette and West Church streets are flying at half-staff in honor of Hankins until Thursday.
Plans were for the United States flag at that location also to fly at half-staff. Permission has not yet been received from the White House to do that, said Mayor Danny Turner. However, he said he learned that a flag was flown over the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday morning in honor of Hankins.
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