A turnout composed of military veterans and spouses, plus invited government and public safety officials, as well as those representing those unable to attend, were on hand Oct. 20 for a historic ceremony regarding the William Alfred Suggs VFW Memorial Post 5277 building. Among those present, as a guest of honor, was a descendent of Suggs: Harry Suggs, accompanied by his wife, Patti.
According to a plaque by the entrance of the building was the date the building was dedicated, Jan. 25, 1946. Now a new designation was to commence, honoring the building’s history. The U.S. Department of Interior has now listed the Post on its National Historic Registry.
Commandant James Nelson, who had been informed earlier about the designation, along with Quartermaster Bob Farrell, then put together the Oct. 20 ceremony, with Farrell welcoming all in attendance, then presenting a history of the building.
He was followed by Mayor Tim Murry who, prior to the issuance of a proclamation, related a story of his when he was a child growing up. He recalled a candy store across the street from the post, where he would stop to get candy. He said he wondered what was the building, little realizing one day he would become a member of the VFW.
Following the reading of the proclamation, Murry, Nelson, Farrell and Harry and Patti Suggs then unveiled the plaque announcing the building now is on the National Historic Registry.
ABOUT WILLIAM ALFRED SUGGS, VFW MEMORIAL POST 5277
For those who may not know the history of the building that houses the William Alfred Suggs VFW Memorial Post 5277 building, 855 W. Desoto St., the building was name in honor of Suggs, who was among those who perished on the USS Arizona on Dec. 7, 1941 in the attack on Pearl Harbor; it was “… a date which will live in infamy,” said then-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on Dec. 8 before a joint session of the U.S. Congress.
Following the conclusion of World War Two, work was started on the VFW building and was completed Jan. 25, 1946. The top section of the building was constructed a number of years later. Farrell pointed out that by looking at the brickwork, it’s possible to see the material used for the upper portion differs greatly from the original construction.
William A. Suggs VFW Memorial Post 5277 is the second building in Clermont to be listed on the National Historic Register, the first being the Clermont Woman’s Club, 655 Broome St., which was designated in 1993.