GRAVEL HILL, Md. (WJZ) — A new park in a Harford County community honors a war hero who gave his life for the country.
The same grounds Sgt. Alfred B. Hilton once walked are now a place for children to play. A playground named for the Medal of Honor recipient is now open.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Soggy But Mild Weekend In Store
Hilton grew up in the area and later died in the fog of war. The playground, though, continues his spirit.
“It’s just awesome for all of us. We come here every two years for our family reunion, so I can’t wait until the rest of the family gets to see this beautiful playground here,” said Evelyn Byrd, one of Hilton’s relatives and herself a 15-year veteran of the U.S. Army.
Military service runs in their family. Another family member retired from the Aberdeen Proving Ground after 37 years.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Maryland: 18 New Deaths Reported Saturday As Hospitalizations & Positivity Rate Continue To Decline
“We should celebrate him and every child who goes through Harford County schools should learn about Alfred B. Hilton, our only Medal of Honor winner,” County Executive Barry Glassman said.
Byrd said she’s grateful the park was named after her relative.
“He passed away before he had a family, so we wrap our arms around him and we love the idea that he gave his life for his country, and he is part of our family today,” Byrd said.MORE NEWS: Baltimore Mayor, Gov. Hogan Clash Over Available COVID Vaccine Doses For City Residents
Despite his own wounds in battle, Sgt. Hilton used his free hand to grab the colors from another soldier. When he could no longer fight, he yelled out “Boys, save the colors.” They did, and they’re still flying high in Gravel Hill.