Untold stories of the Florence American CemeteryPhotos courtesy of American Battle Monuments Commission
On November 11, Veterans Day, ceremonies take place throughout the United States and around the world to honor those who served in the nation’s military. Did you know that the Florence American Cemetery, located just outside the city, is the site of one such Veterans Day commemoration? Here’s a remarkable story of one of the soldiers who is buried there: Sergeant Roy W. Harmon.
Sergeant Harmon was born in Talala, Oklahoma in 1915. During World War II, he joined the U.S. Army, quickly rising to become a Sergeant in Company C, 362nd Infantry Regiment, 92nd Infantry Division.
On July 12, 1944, Harmon led his squad into battle outside of Casaglia, in the province of Pisa. After his unit failed to rescue another platoon trapped under fire from three German positions, Harmon embarked on a one-man assault against all three. He was shot and killed, but not before singlehandedly taking all three positions and rescuing the platoon. For his actions, Harmon was awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest U.S. military award. At the time of his death, Harmon was 28 years old.
The Florence American Cemetery is the final resting place of 4,401 American servicemen and women who died during World War II, primarily during the fighting that occurred after the capture of Rome in June 1944. The names of 1,409 Americans missing in action are also inscribed on the Tablets of the Missing.
Please join us on November 11 at 11am at the Florence American Military Cemetery for the Veterans Day ceremony. All are welcome. For more information and directions, see www.abmc.gov.