I am honored to share that the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that U.S. Army Air Force Staff Sgt. Franklin P. Hall, 21, of Leesburg, Florida, killed during World War II, was accounted for on July 13, 2023. After almost 80 years, Staff Sergeant Hall’s remains were flown home into Orlando International Airport and were honored in a Welcome Home Hero’s Highway procession route from Beyers Funeral Home to Lone Oak Cemetery in Leesburg.
Cindy Brown, my Community Relations Representative for the City of Leesburg, read a letter I sent as part of the graveside service where SSgt Hall was finally laid to rest with Full Army Military Honors. Officiating the graveside service was U.S. Army National Guard Chaplain Sellon. Condolences were made by Florida State Senator Dennis Baxley, former Lake County Commissioner Brigadier General Timothy Sullivan and a Proclamation was read by Leesburg Mayor Burry.
Staff Sgt. Franklin P. Hall paid the ultimate sacrifice. Let us remember that freedom is not free. It required the sacrifice of this brave man and many other men and women who were willing to sacrifice their comforts and lives. We will always remember those who fought for our freedom, defeated tyranny, and defended liberties we enjoy.
Welcome Home, Staff Sgt. Franklin P. Hall, may you rest in peace. We owe you a debt we can never repay.
Congressman Daniel Webster represents The Villages in the U.S. House of Representatives.