January 25, 2020

Community News

Love Story at Arlington National Cemetery
February 14, 2015

Saint Valentine's Day Weekend gives pause to remember a Love Story at Arlington.  As part of the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement, the Wright Family had only to look at its family album to connect with the iconic lives of leaders during the turbulent sixties.  Their celebration of the Civil Rights Anniversary started with the movement in March 2014 of Sp5 Wyley Wright Jr. from a segregated grave in Jacksonville, Florida and his wife, Ouida Fay McClendon Wright from a cemetery in Columbus, Georgia to Arlington National Cemetery during its 150th Anniversary.  The Wright's commemoration was topped off by having their parents' grave marked with a headstone delivered in time for the Christmas laying of wreaths at Arlington by Wreaths Across America.  The couple was finally united in honor after being separated by death for fifty years.  Wyley and Ouida Wright died within six years of each other, Monday, March 9, 1964 and Monday, March 9, 1970 respectively. Their children honored their love for each other by joining them together in the final resting place of Arlington National Cemetery. 

Christmas 2014 Arlington National Cemetery

As 2014 neared its end, the Wright Family noted its accomplishment of honoring Fallen Viet Nam War Hero Sp5 Wyley Wright Jr. and his wife, Ouida F. Wright by having them buried at Arlington National Cemetery during it's 150th Anniversary.   Wright, who served as an Honor Guard for Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara at the time of his death was moved from a segregated cemetery in Jacksonville, Florida and reburied with his wife Ouida F. McClendon Wright at Arlington National Cemetery on March 10, 2014.  It was the day after the March 9 anniversary of their deaths in 1964 and 1970 respectively.  See Full Article.


Days after the article was written with the reference that the Wright Siblings  were still waiting on the headstone to mark their parents new resting place, they received a photo from their cousin retired Major Dexter McLendon Sr. that his friend had taken after the Cristmas wreath laying by Wreaths Across America.  So days before Christmas, the Wright Siblings not only received the gift of knowing the headstone had been placed, but also the gift of Mrs. Ginger Shannon Young had fulfilled her promise, "I'll make sure your parents will get a wreath for Christmas."    The Wrights met Mrs. Shannon Young at the reburial of their parents in Arlington on March 10, 2014.  They had a connection that for years the Wrights were not aware of, both Lt. Kenneth A. Shannon and Sp5 Wyley Wright Jr. were honored at the base in Vinh Long, Viet Nam (Shannon-Wright Compound) , after their deaths in March of 1964.  On the Viet Nam War Memorial, their names are near each other.  Fifty years after their deaths, their families connected in life to remember the sacrifice they and others made to the United States of America.

Mrs. Ginger Shannon Young, volunteer with Wreaths Across America lays a Christmas Wreath at Arlington Gravesite of Sp5 Wyley Wright Jr. and Ouida Fay Wright.  
The names of Helicopter Crew Chief, Sp5 Wyley Wright Jr., who died March 9, 1964 as an honor guard for Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara and Pilot Lt. Kenneth A. Shannon, who died March 15, 1964, both of the U.S. Army 114th Aviation Company, follow each other on the Viet Nam War Memorial.

Honoring Father and Mother, Remembering, Memorial Day 2014

Wyley & Ouida Wright laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery
"Love Separated in Life...Love Reunited in Honor"

 A time of celebration for the Children of Sp5 Wyley and Ouida Wright buried together

at Arlington National Cemetery March 10, 2014, One of the stories of the hallowed grounds at Arlington National Cemetery

as its 150th Anniversary is commemorated May 2014.(Photo: Andre Ray Thompson/Ray Caling)

Full Article

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