HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A World War II veteran will finally be honored as the Department of Veteran’s Affairs has vowed to correctly mark his grave after a grave marker was found in a ditch near the railroad tracks in downtown Huntsville.
Earlier this week, WHNT News 19 reported that the Madison County Sheriff’s Office had taken a grave marker found by a railroad worker in as evidence and were investigating where it came from. At the time deputies didn’t know if it was stolen, or perhaps just lost.
“We have an investigator that is assigned to try to locate where this grave is that the plaque was removed from,” said Lt. Donny Shaw with MCSO.
Several commenters on social media dug into grave finding websites, and the Madison County Sheriff’s office honed in on Highland Park Cemetery in Ohio.
“I spoke with a manager there and they said they do in fact have a Bennie L. White with the same date of birth, and the same date of death,” Shaw said.
But Shaw also learned that according to cemetery management, Bennie L. White’s grave has never had a marker.
“They did tell me that the cemetery does not allow the bronze type marker that we’ve located,” he said.
A bronze marker, like the one found in Huntsville, would not have been allowed in this particular cemetery.
There is no way to know, but there’s a chance this marker was made for Bennie White, but was rejected from being placed in Highland Park Cemetery.
There are scrap metal trains that run through Madison County — perhaps this marker was on one of them.
Now the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is involved.
“They are shipping us a mailing label with postage so we can mail it to them,” Lt. Shaw said.
The VA has made a promise to bring this veteran honor and prepare a granite grave marker to be placed where Army Private Bennie L. White lies. The Madison County Sheriff’s Office has told us they will provide updates as they communicate with the VA.