Small town remembers big sacrifice during WWII

By Jon Kalahar - bio | email

D'LO, MS (WLOX) - When you think of Memorial Day celebrations, D'Lo, Mississippi most likely isn't the first town to pop into your mind. But maybe it should be.

When America was thrust into World War II after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, 150 of the tiny town's 400 residents volunteered to go to war. That means, by percentage, D'Lo sent more of its residents off to war than any other town in the country.

Every year, the lives of those who gave everything are remembered and celebrated by family, friends and fellow veterans.

"I know all these people, every one of them," WWII veteran Joe Parker said. "I grew up with them and went to school with them."

Parker remembers being among those who answered the call the serve, so many years ago.

"We were just a patriotic group here in this town. We all just got behind it," Parker said.

D'Lo Mayor Bob Byrd likes to tell the story relayed to him from a former school teacher at the time the war broke out.

"The kids, they wouldn't do their homework. They didn't want to do their homework. All they had on their mind was to graduate, get out and go fight in the war," Byrd said.

Life Magazine once called D'Lo "the fightenest town in the South," and for good reason. But you can bet the men who went to war didn't do it for the accolades or for the nicknames. As one veteran said, they did it because it was their duty.

Eight D'Lo residents who fought in World War II were killed in action. Many others returned home after the war, and still live there today.

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