Monday, May 26, 2008

Pre-War Football Legend To Be Honored On Memorial Day

Newnan's Post 2667 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars will once again conduct the community ceremony for Memorial Day on Monday, May 26, at 11:00 AM, at Veterans Memorial Plaza, on Jackson Street. For nearly 50 years, the post has sponsored Memorial Day activities for Newnan-Coweta citizens. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremonies will be held in the McKoon Funeral Chapel.

This year, in keeping with the theme, "Honor All By Remembering One," the ceremonies will seek to remember the life of Robert Earl Beers, the youngest son of one of Newnan’s old families. Known during the late thirties as the "Newnan Flash," Bobby Beers was an outstanding high school athlete and a football standout at Georgia Tech. While short of stature, at just five feet 8 inches and weighing no more than 155 pounds, "Little Bobby Beers" captured local headlines with his prowess on the gridiron and received national recognition for his exploits in games against perennially top-rated college teams.

Beers enlisted in the Army in 1940 and received a commission as a pilot in the Air Corps. Shortly after Pearl Harbor, in February 1942, he was assigned as part of the first contingent of the legendary 8th Air Force, in England. Sadly, Beers never got to see much action, dying in a plane crash near his Midlands base in August of 1942.

Bobby was one of four of the Beers brothers who served during WWII, all of whom had distinguished military records. Elizabeth Beers, a local historian and community supporter, is the widow of Frank Beers, Bob’s older brother. Much of the memoribilia that will be displayed at the ceremony, comes from her collection of family memories.

The program seeks to give the audience a picture of the life of Bobby Beers, as given by family, friends and available records. Anyone attending the ceremony, who has a recollection of Beers and his life is invited to share their memories. It is hoped that by knowing this one sacrificed life, we may better appreciate the sacrifices made by so many, in the protection of our lives and liberties.

Following the Monday ceremony, the Coweta Veterans' Club invites the public to join them for a luncheon at the club. Food will be served until 2:30 PM. Commander Jeff Carroll will host the luncheon and promises that there will be a bounty of food, so there will be no need for guests to arrive early.