Lost in World War II, Marine Cpl. William Haywood never forgotten in Enterprise

Photo courtesy Bobbie Bentley Stiles

Cpl. Haywood in uniform. 

A CROWN FOR MARINE CPL. BILLY HAYWOOD’s family, Enterprise High School and the greater Clarke County community for keeping his memory alive all these years and memorializing him again next weekend.

Cpl. Haywood gave his life for his country in World War II as he was killed in action, Nov. 21, 1943, the second day of the battle for Tarawa, a tiny atoll in the Gilbert Islands.

Erin Kelly reports this weekend in The Meridian Star about the sacrifice of Cpl. Haywood and his family and notes events planned in Enterprise next weekend to remember him.

Recipients of the Billy Haywood Memorial Award will be recognized at the high school football game next Friday and a memorial service is planned the following afternoon at Enterprise Cemetery.

Cpl. Haywood’s family and all service members and their families should take heart in knowing a community’s effort to never forget.

A CROWN, TOO, TO THE NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION History Flight and other organizations that work to identify remains of fallen service members and bring them home.

It’s unknown whether Cpl. Haywood’s remains are among those recently recovered from Tarawa and being analyzed for possible reinterment in military and hometown cemeteries, but these groups provide hope for all families who have lost loved ones that their sons and daughters may one day be brought home.

A FROWN FOR POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST.

We are troubled by the appointment of Lauderdale County District 4 Supervisor Joe Norwood as the city of Meridian’s interim parks and recreation director by Mayor Percy Bland.

While we would give Supervisor Norwood a crown for his commitment to public service, the good work he’s done on behalf of both the county and the city, and we have confidence he is qualified for the job, we think he should choose which position he desires.

The city and county certainly have common interests, but they also can have competing interests. Could the mayor ask Norwood to use his influence with the county to take over the city golf course? Would Norwood be on the spot if the city requested the county’s help to repair the Frank Cochran Center? Who would he be representing at any given hour?

Sure the supervisor/department head could recuse himself, but there may be serious questions about which body he represents in discussions out of public view. Maybe there will be no conflict of interest, however, there may be many appearances of it and this town has already met its quota of conspiracy theories.

Both jobs require significant amounts of attention, we encourage him to choose.

Now, if you want to talk about consolidating governments, that’s another conversation to be had.

A FROWN FOR A CLOSED DOOR policy by the East Mississippi Business Development Corp.

When we heard about a business appreciation luncheon planned by the EMBDC last Wednesday at the Meridian Community College-Riley Workforce Development Center and its presentation on workforce vision we were interested.

Workforce development is a hot topic here and we have a reporter new to the market who would benefit from hearing about suggested solutions and benefit from meeting the community’s business leaders in one session. In addition, we’re also a member of the business community.

We invited ourselves and offered to pay for our own lunch.

MCC President Tom Huebner was gracious and understanding of our request but yielded to EMBDC President and CEO Bill Hannah who rejected our request to attend.

We are disappointed. As we replied to Mr. Hannah, we think it’s healthy for a community to share ideas in open forums and try to seek solutions together. The larger the audience, the greater the potential to hear new ideas. That’s especially true at a public college in an event sponsored by the EMBDC, an organization at least partially funded by the public.

Too often this community’s challenges are discussed behind closed doors and in executive sessions by the same groups of people. That only feeds those conspiracy theories noted above.

Let’s open doors, get fresh ideas and work toward improving East Mississippi together.

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