The African-American Legion Post 653, also named the Homer Lawson Post, and the story behind its name will be featured Monday as part of the Red, White and Boom coverage from NBC4.
Mike Jackson with NBC4 featured Washington Court House in February as part of the celebration of Black History Month. They learned about the local African-American Legion Post (one of two active posts in southeastern Ohio). Additionally, they learned about Homer Lawson, an African-American World War I veteran who fought in France, and was the subject of a lesson plan created by Paul LaRue (local historian and retired teacher) late last year.
As 2017 continued, it was decided that the story would run as part of NBC4’s coverage of “Red, White and Boom,” an annual fireworks display in Columbus.
“Everyone is doing a different feature concerning someone who has served,” Jackson said during an interview Friday. “For me fortunately I got the assignment of Homer Lawson. I am very pleased with how the story turned out. There are times when you cover a story and you end up actually learning something you maybe didn’t know before.”
Jackson said that is exactly the beauty behind the story of Homer Lawson. He said that when they visited Washington C.H., they had a chance to visit the Washington High School. He stepped into the classroom of Ryan Day as they were discussing issues about WWI.
“So often, especially high school kids, when you ask them about military, they know a lot about World War II and the Civil War because there is so much written about it,” Jackson said. “World War I was the ‘War to end all wars,’ but it was dwarfed 20 years later by World War II. These students were able to explain to me how important World War I was with different aspects. One of the sophomores said that because of World War I, this is why we have issues in the Middle East now.”
Homer Lawson will be one of several features that will be part of NBC4’s coverage of Red, White and Boom, which will begin at 8 p.m. The Lawson feature will air around 9:10 to 9:15 p.m. and will last for a few minutes.
“I think that we are celebrating the day of independence and when you do that you certainly have to recognize those who helped make our freedom possible: the men and women who served our country,” Jackson said. “I think it is something that we should do because it is the right thing to do and second, there are so many who really aren’t recognized for their efforts. Not to short sell anyone, you were able to serve and return home safely, in my book I thank you, you are a hero. But there are others who went above and beyond but you don’t hear about them.”