Physique of World Battle II veteran escorted 1,000 miles from Florida to Kentucky for burial – KIRO 7 Information Seattle
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The final wishes of a World War II veteran who survived his family and died alone in Florida but wanted to be buried next to his mother in Kentucky were granted over the weekend.
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Wallace “Colonel” Anderson Taylor, 96, died in Zephyrhills, Florida in February, WWSB reported. He was unmarried and had no surviving relatives, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported.
His final wishes were to be buried next to his mother Thelma Anderson Taylor in Louisville with a blanket she had made for him and the cremated remains of his three dogs, WFTS reported.
Volunteers from the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, a nonprofit group that ensures veterans receive an appropriate funeral, made sure this would happen.
On Friday, they began “The Final Mile,” a 1,000-mile hike to escort Taylor’s body to Kentucky.
“We are vets helping vets and this is our last opportunity to help this vet. They are our brothers and sisters. David Allen of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association told WFTS. “It’s not a really sad day, he was 96 years old. For us it’s a rolling festival of life.”
The motorcade was accompanied by the state, police and volunteers from various military groups at each state border, reported WAVE.
“Because (Taylor) is a Colonel from Kentucky, Louisville rolled out the red carpet,” Ron Stoll of Jennings Funeral Home in Sarasota, where Taylor’s funeral was held Friday, told the Herald-Tribune. “We had chosen a venue where we wanted to stop in front of the cemetery (in Kentucky), but the Louisville police said no, it’s not big enough. We have more units to guide and guide you in this greeting than we can get into this venue. So they moved it to a much bigger place. “
Taylor joined the Army Air Corps in 1941 when the US entered World War II. He later served in the Army’s 38th Ordinance Company during the Korean War. When he returned to Louisville after the war, he was given the title of “Kentucky Colonel,” an honor for outstanding achievement or service.
He later toured the country to operate Colonel Taylor’s Fly By Night concession stands at fairs, music festivals and other events. This is evident from a crowdsource funding account that was set up to help pay the escort from multiple states. Instead of flowers, those who wish to honor Taylor are asked to donate for them. Taylor later retired to Zephyrhills and picked up border collies.
Taylor’s service was Sunday at Rest Haven Memorial Park in Büchel, Kentucky, WWSB reported.
“Full military honors mean a three-volley salute that you normally don’t get for an unclaimed veteran, and Mr. Taylor definitely deserves it,” Allen told the Herald Tribune. “There is a story. In the past, when armies line up and shoot each other, they called for time out so that both sides could care for their dead. When one side was done, they fired a three-volley salute to notify the other side that it was their turn to retrieve the bodies. The three volley salute means we have taken care of our dead. “