Honoring Homer Lawson, an Ohioan who died in WWI for our freedom

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Brave young Americans joined the Armed Forces 100 years ago as America became involved in World War I. Among those were more than 200,000 Ohioans who answered the call, the 4th largest number of servicemen of all the states.

Homer Lawson from Fayette County, Ohio was one of the 6,500 Ohio soldiers gave up their lives for our freedom. Today, there’s a building named in Lawson’s honor, but a lot of people in town had no idea who he was.

Lawson was born in Washington Court House. He later became a “Harlem Hell Fighter,” a member of the 369th, who died on the battlefields of France as a hero.

For years, his name has graced the American Legion Post, but most people in town were not aware of his significance.

“I would drive past that building before and I didn’t recognize it or knew what I was for at all,” said Washington High School sophmore Mackenzie Schaffer.

Paul Larue is a retired history teacher and part of the Ohio World War I Centennial Commission that’s responsible for World War I teaching instruction used at Washington High.

“In some ways, its kind of sad and ironic the French government in some ways recognized them more than they were in their own country,” Larue said. “The time of World War I, not a single African-American was a recipient of the Medal of Honor, and their stories were known.”

Members of the integrated Homer Lawson American Legion Post never had a picture of the posts’ namesake until Paul Larue completed his research.

Lawson now rests in the peaceful pastures of the Veterans section of Green Lawn Cemetery in Columbus

NBC4i.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s