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LAWRENCE E. PALMER


(courtesy of Howard Burough)

Grave marker for Lawrence E. Palmer in Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery, Augusta (Richmond), GA

Eulogy for Larry Palmer By CSM (Retired) Kenneth O. Merritt

I first met Larry Palmer some 56 years ago in the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment. We were both assigned to the same company, same platoon and we stayed together throughout the war. Larry made all the combat operations that the 508th made, including the jump into Normandy, the jump into Nijmegen, Holland and the Battle of the Bulge operation. Larry was a small man in stature but a big man in heart and soul -- always cheerful with a big smile on his face. There was a great man from the state of Oklahoma by the name of Will Rogers who once said, "I never met a man that I didn't like." And I can truthfully say, without any reservations, that I never -- and I repeat never -- heard Larry say one bad word about another human being.

Larry was not a general or colonel in World War II.  No, he was just a Squad Leader doing the job that he was trained to do and he was also our friend -- a friendship that has lasted over 56 years.

Larry was not a politician, a statesman or a judge. No. He was just a man, our friend. Larry was not a rich man, a doctor or lawyer. No. He was just a man, our friend. Wouldn't it be a wonderful world if we could say of every father, brother and husband that we bury --"There lies a great man." And today I can say without any reservation, "Here lies a great man."

In addition to his military service, Larry was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, a businessman for over 50 years here in Augusta, a big fan of the Atlanta Braves, a member of the 508th P.I.R. Association and a member of the Masonic Lodge.  Lt. Epps, our assistant platoon leader in World War II, told me 25 years after the war that Larry Palmer was one of the coolest men in combat that he had ever seen. A couple of years ago I asked Larry about his coolness in combat and Larry said, "Rock, I was scared to death. I just didn't want the troops to see how really scared I was."

We are coming to the end of an era for our World War II soldiers and we owe them more than we can ever pay. Let us not forget that Larry gave over three years of his life in World War II to safeguard against those who would like to overthrow our way of life. History tells us that in America it has always been the American soldier that upholds our way of life. It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who protects the protester to burn our American flag. Yes, we owe this man and his family more than we will ever be able to pay. Larry, I and 1,293 members of the 508th P.I.R. Association are proud to have served with you and to call you and your family our friends.


Mr. Lawrence Edgar Palmer Sr., 78, of Augusta, died Thursday, Nov. 5, 1998, at University Hospital.

The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Woodlawn United Methodist Church with the Rev. Thom Shores officiating. Burial will be in Hillcrest Memorial Park.

Mr. Palmer, a native of Augusta, had retired as a businessman. He was a member emeritus of Webb Lodge 166 of the Free and Accepted Masons. He was an Army veteran of World War II, where he was a member of the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment Association. Mr. Palmer fought in the Battle of the Bulge and parachute jumped in Normandy on D-Day.

Survivors include his wife, Laura Landrum Palmer; two sons, Lawrence E. Palmer Jr. and Troy Palmer, both of Augusta; five daughters, Cheryl Palmer Gray, Dublin, Emily Palmer Boyles, North Augusta, Ann Palmer Nelson, Roswell, Bunny Palmer, Augusta, and Susan Palmer Creger, Marietta; a sister, Bernice Palmer Borup, North Augusta; and 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Pallbearers will be Forrest Maddox, John Morris, Osborne Maddox, Stewart Morris, Jim Quattlebaum and Paul Felberg.

Honorary pallbearers will be members of the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
Memorials may be made to Woodlawn United Methodist Church, 2220 Walton Way, Augusta, GA 30904.

Friends may call at the residence or at Poteet Funeral Home, Peach Orchard Road.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. today at the funeral home.

(The Augusta Chronicle, Augusta, GA, 6 Nov 1998, Page C5)
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