“This year we have the awesome privilege of recognizing and honoring our native son O.C. Horton, Jr., who served on the USS Arkansas CGN-41. That is very unique,” Irby shared.
Horton grew up in Wabbaseka, Arkansas and later served on the USS Arkansas CGN-41 in 1978.
KABZ 103.7 The BUZZ will host the event. The live radio broadcast will begin at 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, October 12, 2016, in the Wabbaseka Community Park located at the intersection of Highway 79 and Myrtle Street in Wabbaseka, Arkansas.
The event will end at 10:00 a.m. with a flag ceremony performed by the Little Rock Air Force Base, Dollarway High School ROTC, and Camp J.T/ Robinson NOSC Naval color guards. This event is open to the public.
History of Arkansas Flag/Wabbaseka Memorial Plaza
On October 12, 2013, Jason Irby and the Wabbaseka Memorial Committee revealed the Arkansas Flag/Wabbaseka Memorial Plaza by conducting a showcase and dedication ceremony at Wabbaseka Community Park in Wabbaseka, Arkansas.
The flag and veterans’ memorial plaza was established to honor the 100th year anniversary of the Arkansas State Flag, Miss Willie K. Hocker, flag designer and Wabbaseka native, and the USS Arkansas Navy battleship.
The ceremony began with a Corvette convoy beginning at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where the flag was first revealed to the state during the 1913 Arkansas State Fair. The convoy journeyed from Hot Springs to Little Rock where it received a great welcome from Arkansas State Fair officials and patrons.
The procession continued on to Pine Bluff Arkansas, the county seat of Jefferson County, and former home to Miss Willie K. Hocker. The convoy was greeted by county and city officials and friends. As a final point, the convoy traveled and arrived at its destination, Wabbaseka, Arkansas, where they were met by an enthusiastic crowd who shared in the inaugural celebration of the Arkansas Flag/Wabbaseka Memorial Plaza. At each stop, a flag was given, ranging from the U.S.A. flag to various Arkansas flags representing the transitions throughout the years.
On October 12, 2016, we reflect upon that inaugural ceremony of the Arkansas Flag/Wabbaseka Memorial Plaza.
Visit the Arkansas Flag/Wabbaseka Memorial website for more information.
Honoree O.C. Horton, Jr.
The 3rd anniversary celebration will also recognize O.C. Horton, Jr. Horton lived in Wabbaseka as a child and attended schools in the Wabbaseka School District.
After graduating from high school in 1970, O.C. Horton, Jr. attended the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, formerly Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical & Normal College (AM&N). On March 11, 1976, he enlisted in the U. S. Navy.
In July 1978, O.C. Horton, Jr. was sent to temporary additional duty (TAD) to USS Arkansas CNG-41 as part of the ready crew at the Newport News Ship Yard in Newport News, Virginia. The USS Arkansas CNG-41 was the fourth and final ship in the Virginia-class cruiser and named after the state of Arkansas.
After years of honorable service, O.C. Horton, Jr. retired in April 2006 at the rank of Chief Warrant Officer-4 (CWO-4).
It is with great honor that the Arkansas Flag/Wabbaseka Memorial Committee recognize and esteem O.C. Horton, Jr. for his distinguished service to the country and unique role in representing the state of Arkansas and Wabbaseka, his home hometown and birthplace of the Arkansas State Flag.