PERDIDO KEY, Fla. (WKRG) — May is Military Appreciation month and the Perdido Key Area Chamber of Commerce is using this time to honor a fallen hero.
During the Korean War in 1950, Private First Class Rosamond Johnson gave his life to save others. He carried two wounded soldiers to safety, but died while trying to rescue a third.
At just 17-years-old, Johnson was the first Escambia County resident to die in the war.
“He was a teenager,” said Lori Raisch, of the Perdido Key Area Chamber of Commerce. “He was so brave. I think we should all live our lives that selflessly. To care that much about other people that you would actually give up your own life.”
Private Johnson’s family and the Perdido Key community work to honor him with a ceremony each year at the beach named after him, Johnson Beach.
“It’s both an honor and a privilege for the Perdido Key Area Chamber of Commerce to remember Private Rosamond Johnson Jr. for the sacrifice he made to this country along with his family and this community,” said Tammy Thurow, President of Perdido Key Area Chamber of Commerce.
Those at the Chamber of Commerce hold the ceremony to make sure people know the sacrifice of the beach’s namesake.
“There’s sad times but there’s also laughter and happy memories,” said Raisch. “I think the family is comforted that we haven’t let him be forgotten and that means a lot to us as well.”
This year’s ceremony to honor Private Johnson will take place Saturday at 10 a.m.. Park fees will be waived during that time.
The Perdido Key Area Chamber of commerce will also hold their Military Appreciation Festival on May 20, National Armed Forces Day at the Blue Angel Recreation Area.