Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, First Lady Crissy Haslam, Tennessee Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Many-Bears Grinder and Tennessee Military Department Adjutant General, Major General Terry “Max” Haston paid tribute to seven service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the state’s Memorial Day service. One of those service members was local. U.S. Army Corporal Thomas Mullins of Harriman went missing on November 2, 1950, while serving in the vicinity of Unsan, North Korea, during the Korean War. He was 18 years old. A former prisoner of war explained to American authorities Mullins died while being held in a prisoner-of-war (POW) camp in North Korea. Mullins’ remains were not turned over to Americans until 1993 and were not positively identified until 2017. Mullins was born March 29, 1932, declared deceased by the Army on March 29, 1951 and was buried March 29, 2018.
“By observing these lives lost, we have walked through 75 years of wars and quite a bit has changed since the call came to serve in World War II,” Haslam said. “The observance of Memorial Day is a time to merge the past, present and future to ensure every generation remembers the sacrifice of these heroes and their families.”
“As I look at the flag, I think of the threads that bind us to the legacies of each of these heroes,” Grinder said. “They took several steps that made several decisions before they took their final breath and we are connected to those steps through our freedom and our flag.”
“Over this Memorial Day weekend it is important to remember why we have this holiday and remember those who have given the last full measure to the protection of this country and the freedoms we enjoy,” said Haston. “Tennesseans have a proud heritage of always answering the call to duty and many of those have paid the ultimate sacrifice.”