Through the generosity of a 91-year-old native of Columbia, Henry W. Crede of Boston, a sculpture honoring all South Carolinians who served in the U.S. Navy in World War II will be unveiled and dedicated on Veterans Day in Columbia’s Memorial Park.
The Dick Goodwin Brass Quintet will begin playing military and World War II vintage music at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, with the ceremony starting at 3 p.m. The public is welcome, and seating will be provided.
Crede’s health will prevent him from attending, but the unveiling and remarks will be given by his grandson, Jason Crede. The sculpture, called “The Sailor,” was created by Camden artist Maria Kirby-Smith.
U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn will deliver the main address, and Columbia Mayor Pro Tem Brian DeQuincey Newman will accept the award on behalf of the city and present the Key to the City to Crede’s grandson.
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Crede grew up near Elmwood Avenue until he enlisted in 1940 in the Navy. He served in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters until 1945. In the post-war years, he was a Polaroid executive.
But he never forgot his roots in Columbia.
“We are thrilled with this tremendous gift to the park,” said Bud Ferillo, chairman of the S. C. Memorial Park Commission. “I am sorry that Mr. Crede will not be with us. His son told me that this is what his father wanted to do with his savings.”
A color guard and detachment of Naval officer candidates from the University of South Carolina will participate, as well as a group of submariners “who just called up and volunteered to serve as ushers,” Ferillo said. “This kind of thing brings out the best in so many people who are veterans themselves or families and friends of veterans.”
Memorial Park is bounded by Washington, Gadsden, Hampton and Wayne streets. It is maintained by the city of Columbia’s Parks and Recreation Department and governed by a commission elected by City Council.