By LARRY BOWERS
Bill Norwood, one of Bradley County's gentleman veterans, has passed away following a short period of illness.He was 87.Norwood has been one of the most distinguished of the community's older …
Bill Norwood, one of Bradley County's gentleman veterans, has passed away following a short period of illness.
He was 87.
Norwood has been one of the most distinguished of the community's older veterans, and was active and instrumental in a number of projects and programs for veterans.
He initiated the start of the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day every Dec. 7, which has since been taken over by the Sons of the American Revolution.
He was heavily involved with The American Legion Post 81, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2895, AmVets Chapter 25, the Bradley County Veterans Affairs Office. He also held a number of local, state and national offices.
Norwood was among the nation's few remaining former Korean War prisoners of war, suffering a horrendous two years in a North Korean prison camp.
He is well known for the stories of his time in the military, and his emotional experiences as a POW. He normally played down the service, and extreme sacrifices, he made for his country.
Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland expressed sympathy to Norwood's wife, Elizabeth, and his family, from himself and wife, Sandra.
"We're saddened by his passing, a man we referred to as a hero's hero," said Rowland.
The mayor added an expression of sadness for the community, especially the veterans' community, as Norwood died only moments before he was to be honored with a memorial statue in the city's First Street Square. The memorial, initiated by local veterans and veteran organizations, is now being constructed, and was to be dedicated in the near future.
Bradley County Veterans of Affairs Officer Larry McDaris also expressed his sympathy.
"I first met Bill when I applied for this position, and he was a member of the interview panel. I have since grown to respect him, and his involvement with veterans and local and national POW organizations," added McDaris.
"He was a wonderful person, and a likable gentleman," added McDaris.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Companion Funeral and Cremation Services through his wife, Elizabeth, and his extended family.
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