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D-DAY June 6, 1944

The 79th Infantry Divison, including Elgin J Barnes, landed in Normandy, France on day 5; 6/11/1944. Elgin was wounded in La Haye, France on July 6, 1944.

Camp Blanding Museum

World War II Normandy Invasion Certificate & Medal Awarded Elgin J. Barnes

L-R Rear Admiral Annette E. Brown, Congressman Ander Crenshaw & Elgin J. Barnes

Friday the 12th of Feb. 2010 Elgin Barnes, received the French Legion of Honor in a ceremony held at the City Hall in Jacksonville, FL

We are the Chosen>

In each family there is one who seems called to find the ancestors. To put flesh on their bones and make them live again, to tell the family story and to feel that somehow they know and approve.

Doing genealogy is not a cold gathering of facts but, instead, breathing life into all who have gone before. We are the storytellers of the tribe. All tribes have one. We have been called, as it were, by our genes. Those who have gone before cry out to us, "Tell our story!" So, we do.

In finding them, we somehow find ourselves. How many graves have I stood before now and cried? I have lost count. How many times have I told the ancestors, "You have a wonderful family; you would be proud of us." How many times have I walked up to a grave and felt somehow there was love there for me? I cannot say.

It goes beyond just documenting facts. It goes to who am I and why do I do the things I do. It goes to seeing a cemetery about to be lost forever to weeds and indifference and saying, "I can't let this happen." The bones here are bones of my bone and flesh of my flesh. It goes to doing something about it. It goes to pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish, how they contributed to what we are today. It goes to respecting their hardships and losses, their never giving in or giving up, their resoluteness to go on and build a life for their family.

It goes to deep pride that the fathers fought and some died to make and keep us a Nation. It goes to a deep and immense understanding that they were doing it for us. It is of equal pride and love that our mothers struggled to give us birth. Without them we could not exist, and so we love each one, as far back as we can reach.

That we might be born who we are. That we might remember them. So we do.

With love and caring and scribing each fact of their existence, because we are they and they are the sum of who we are. So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family. It is up to that one called in the next generation to answer the call and take my place in the long line of family storytellers.

That is why I do my family genealogy, and that is what calls those young and old to step up and restore the memory or greet those whom we had never known before.

Author Unknown

In Memory of
Elgin J. R. Barnes
June 22, 1925 -June 7, 2011
Elgin Barnes, a decorated Army veteran of World War II, was a Baker County native and long-time Life Member of the Baker County Historical Society; he will be greatly missed. His legacy to Baker County, Florida and all those who have roots here is immeasurable. His wife, Dorothy Mobley Barnes, and brother-in-law, Carl Wendell Mobley, joined him in researching the families of Baker County, inventorying cemeteries in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia, and making the information available in the Baker County Historical Society Library and the Baker County website. Mr. Barnes contributed untold volunteer hours of family history research, gathered names and dates in cemeteries, staffed the Library, and answered questions from his deep knowledge of families and county history. He was a quiet, steady presence at the Society.

The information compiled by Mr. and Mrs. Barnes and Mr. Mobley through hours of walking through cemeteries and reading obituaries has been the basis of the books the Society has sold for many years. The results of their efforts have been freely given with the understanding that proceeds would benefit the Society. Without their commitment and forethought, the Baker County Historical Society would be a shadow of what it is today.

We say goodbye to Mr. Barnes with sadness and gratitude for all he has done for his family, church, country and community. Our lives are better for having known him.

Baker County Historical Society
2011 Summer/Fall Newsletter

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