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6 Heroes Added to Wall of Honor in Collin County

Six names were added to the Wall of Honor at Veterans Memorial Park in McKinney on Saturday. Each name represents a life sacrificed in service of others.

"We are honoring those that at one point in their life raised their hand to serve our country. They put on their uniform and left Collin County, left Texas, they left their home and put on their uniform and never came home," said Colin Kimball, Vice Chair of Armed Services Memorial Board of McKinney.

The wall contains the names of 416 service members from Collin County who died while serving the United States.

The memorial was dedicated in November 2011, and each year the Armed Services Memorial Board researches and identifies new names of people who were either born in Collin County or enlisted while living there and died while in service.

Six additional heroes were added to the wall Saturday -- one who served in World War I, three who served in World War II and one who served in the Korean War.

Organizers said it is important that people never forget those who died in the armed services.

"I lost a good friend in the Vietnam War and the idea of people forgetting them was unacceptable to me and the idea of anybody forgetting any of these people is unacceptable to me so I work very vigorously to ensure their legacies remain enduring," Kimball said.

Harold Crismon of Celina was one of the service members honored. Crismon was a Flying Fortress pilot who survived World War II, but died in a search and rescue mission off the coast of Panama in 1946. His wife was pregnant with his daughter, Christina, when he died.

"He died before I was born so I never knew him, but I knew all about him because my mother and grandparents shared many stories about him," Crismon's daughter, Christina Schuetz, said.

Stories of his life and service have been passed on through the years to his grandchildren, and now great grandchildren.

"You know, to me it was almost stuff of storybooks just the story of him being a hero and how my mom never knew him," Kim Daugherty, Crismon's granddaughter said. "My grandmother found out she was pregnant right after he died. Just listening to stories of him was so incredible and then today and being a part of this it feels like a real family."

The six veterans honored are listed below.

Jesse Burgess, 26, Valdasta, Army, PFC. Killed in an accident at Camp Travis, San Antonio, Texas, in 1922.

Rodney H. Hickman, 23, Farmersville, Army. Died during the Bataan Death March in the Philippines during World War II.

Harold Crismon, 25, Celina, Army Air Force. A Flying Fortress pilot who survived World War II, killed in a search-and-rescue mission when his plane crashed in the Pacific Ocean, west of Panama in 1946. His brother, Henry, was killed during WWII and is also on the Wall.

Jack M. Shirley, 47, McKinney, Navy, Lieutenant Commander. A 30-year veteran of the US Navy, died in San Diego, California, in 1955.

Mathis O. Ball, 20, McKinney. Army, PFC. First Collin County boy to be killed in the War in Korea. Missing in Action in 1950, declared dead in 1953, remains found and identified in 2018.

John D. Cook, 19, Melissa, Anna. Air Force, Airman 3rd Class. Died in a firearm's accident at Bergstrom Air Force Base, Austin, Texas, in 1952.

Each year the members of the Armed Services Memorial Board searches to find out if there are other service members from Collin County who should be added to the Wall of Honor.

"One of the responsibilities of the Armed Services Memorial Board is to identify the names of the fallen from Collin County. We have a very strict vetting process and we have to confirm that they were from Collin County, either born here or lived here when they enlisted, and that they died while serving our country," Kimball said.

The Collin County Veterans Memorial Park in McKinney is open year-round to the public.

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