NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A piece of Marine Corps history remembered with a rededication ceremony honoring 20-year-old Private First Class George W. Elmore.
Elmore was killed in action in the Korean War on February 26, 1951.
Posthumously, he was awarded the nation’s second highest award, the Navy Cross.
“At that particular time there was nothing more important to George W. Elmore than the safety of those Marines,” explained Lieutenant General Mark Brilakis.
For his great sacrifice, Camp Elmore was commissioned in his honor 65 years ago.
It used to be known as Camp Allen because it was built to train Navy Seabees.
However, now you’ll only find Marine green there, so they wanted to name all of the historical spaces and buildings for Elmore and his family.
“In some conversations we mention Camp Allen, then we go back to Camp Elmore, and it was really important that we had this ceremony rededicate this camp to bring it back to its historic roots,” Brilakis said.
Over six decades later, Elmore’s niece, Debbie Hager, attended the ceremony.
She sat in the front row representing her uncle, whose sacrifice makes her proud.
“It’s always been an ongoing happiness to us even though I know how it broke my grandmother and grandfather’s heart, and my parents’.”
Hager was given a memory box and got the first look at the new Camp Elmore sign next to the old one.
“I have some pictures of where the first dedication took place and I never could see the sign, I saw the family members around it, not the sign, so when I saw it today it kind of weakened my knees a little bit,” she stated.
Marine officials say events like this remind us that slogans like “never forget” aren’t just words, they’re time-honored calls to action.