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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Major Thomas D. Howie Memorial, Shelby

  • Type

    Marker

  • Subjects

    World War II

    Historic Military Figures

  • City

    Shelby

  • County

    Cleveland

  • Description

    The prominent feature of the Howie memorial is a large, flat faced stone that has been tilted forward to hold the unadorned bronze plaque. A border of white landscape brick forms a circle around the stone and a red brick sidewalk wraps around this border with a walk leading to the street. A narrow band of landscaping holds two benches, plantings and mulch and is defined by a second band of white landscape brick that encompasses the circle feature and sidewalk.

    Images: Entrance sign | Plaque | Re-dedication sign | Side view | Far-off view of the memorial

  • Inscription

    Plaque: A / LIVING / MEMORIAL / TO / MAJOR THOMAS DRY HOWIE / APRIL 12, 1908 – JULY 17, 1944 / ONE OF THE MOST GLORIOUS STORIES OF BRAVERY / BEYOND CALL OF DUTY IN WORLD WAR II IS THAT OF / MAJOR THOMAS DRY HOWIE / THE GALLANT MAJOR OF ST. LO WHO LED A / SUICIDE MISSION WHICH CLEARED THAT BARRIER / TO THE NORMANDY BEACH HEAD, BUT NOT TILL, HE / HAS GIVEN HIS LIFE DIRECTING THAT SUCCESSFUL / ATTACK. HIS DEVOTED MEN PRESSED ON VICTORIOUSLY / AND CARRIED HIS BODY INTO THE CITY / AT HEAD OF THEIR COLUMN. HIS SISTER, MRS. HUBERT S. PLASTER, AND DR. PLASTER / HAVE PLANTED THIS PARK ENTRANCE AS A TRIBUTE / TO HIS MEMORY THAT OTHERS MIGHT ENJOY THESE / PLANTS AND THE FREEDOM FOR WHICH HE LITERALLY / FOR GOT HIMSELF INTO IMMORTALITY.

    Entrance sign: MAJOR THOMAS D. / HOWIE MEMORIAL / “THE MAJOR OF ST. LO”

    Re-dedication sign: MAJOR HOWIE MEMORIAL / REFURBISHED AND REDEDICATED / JUNE 6, 2015 / ASHLEY POPWELL, GRACE RIBADENEYRA, / BAILEY STRICKLAND, EMILY WHITE AND ERIN WHITE / GIRL SCOUT TROOP 20308

  • Custodian

    City of Shelby Parks and Recreation

  • Dedication Date

    Circa 1965. Re-dedication: June 6, 2015

  • Decade

    1960s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.292670 , -81.556620 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      Hoover, Dan. “D-Day Heroes Live in Legend,” The Greenville News (Greenville, SC), June 6, 2005

      White, Susan. “You Report the News: Girl Scouts Refurbish Howie Memorial,” ShelbyDailyStar.com, June 1, 2015, (accessed November 9, 2016) Link

      “The Major of St. Lo,” Alumni News Of The Citadel, www.thecitadelmemorialeurope.org, Winter 1972-1973, (accessed November 9, 2016) Link

      “Thomas D. Howie, The Major of St. Lo,” The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed November 9, 2016). Link

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze, stone, brick

  • Sponsors

    Dr. and Mrs. Hubert S. Plaster

  • Subject Notes

    After Howie’s death and his men had entered the city of St. Lo, they carried his body to the rubble of a church. The photo of his body there draped with the American flag was one of the most famous of World War II. Many memorials have been placed to honor Howie. There are two in St. Lo to include one on the wall of Sainte-Croix in St. Lo where his body was placed after his death. It is thought that the character of Captain John Miller played by Tom Hanks in the movie “Saving Private Ryan” was based on Major Howie.

  • Location

    The memorial can be found at the intersection of Howie Drive and W. Marion Street near the Cleveland County Memorial Library, in Shelby, NC.

  • Landscape

    The memorial complex is located on an open field with several scattered trees in a short distance of it.

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