On Sept. 7, a program pegged “A Celebration of Community” will be held at the site of the Textile Monument on Main Street near Howard’s in Greenwood with a reception to follow at the Greenwood County Veterans Center (old county library building).
This will be significant for the entire upstate area.
Sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Ladies Auxiliary to Greenwood Post 8131, the program will offer an opportunity for community residents to renew our appreciation to the local textile workers who have supported the military for more than a century.
Scheduled for 1 p.m., the program is open to the public at no charge and will feature patriotic music by area students and participation by representatives of the textile industry, area veterans, legislators and VFW officials.
On Sept. 7, 1987, the auxiliary and VFW dedicated a monument to those workers and veterans who were members of the local work force. The monument bears an inscription that personifies the value of the textile workers’ occupation and tools of the trade: a loom and shuttle. Auxiliary president Sandra Johnston noted that the monument’s location in the heart of Uptown Greenwood is very appropriate because it represents the “untiring efforts of thousands who are truly at the heart of our community.”
The U.S. Army and Navy officially recognized the extraordinary contributions of Greenwood Mills employees to the war effort on Nov. 28, 1942. On that date, officials of the armed services conferred upon 2,526 Mathews Mill employees the E-Award for excellence.
Col. Robert T. Steven, who made the presentation, told the huge crowd gathered to honor the recipients that, “Mathews fabrics have moved the Army’s fighting front from Alaska to the Solomons and from Greenland to the Middle East.”
The local manufacturer’s employees received E-Awards four times during the war.
Current employees of Greenwood Mills’ Harris Plant continue the tradition of providing quality products to the men and women who are defending the country’s freedom today. Fabric made at the local plant is used for camouflage uniforms worn by U.S. troops across the globe.
For additional information on the program, contact Johnston by calling 864-223-5256 or e-mailing email@example.com.
The following stanza is engraved on the Textile Monument, along with a depiction of a loom and shuttle. The original poem is entitled “The Plan of the Master Weaver” and was supplied by Dr. Gordon Berkstresser, who claimed that John George Berkstresser passed the poem down from father to son through nine generations of “rag men.” John came to America from Germany in 1731, and his occupation was listed as “weaver and dyer” on his emigration papers.
“Not until each loom is silent, and the shuttles cease to fly, will God unroll the pattern and explain the reason why the dark threads are as needful in the weaver’s skillful hand as the threads of gold and silver for the pattern which He planned.”