Golczynski honored in bronze

Friday, February 1, 2008

A bronze bust of the late Staff Sgt. Marc Golczynski is due to be cast this spring, but officials here remain undecided about where to place it.

Golczynski's mother, who teaches science at Forrest High School, said she believes the bust should be displayed in Lewisburg, where he was raised and joined the Marine Corps.

Where the bust might be displayed was considered Tuesday afternoon during a meeting of the Lewisburg Community Development Committee led by Chairman Edmund Roberts, a close family friend and former business associate of Henry Golczynski, the slain Marine's father.

Elaine Huffines, the Marine's mother, said Wednesday that she had asked Mayor Bob Phillips if the bust "could be placed somewhere in Lewisburg since it is Marc's hometown. I just wanted it to be in Lewisburg and so does Heather," Marc's widow.

Discussion among members of the Community Development Committee concluded with a unanimous vote on a motion by Donna Roberts, seconded by Pam Russell, that the bronze bust of Golczynski should be placed in a secure location and that Rock Creek Park does not offer the kind of security that's required.

Complaints of vandalism at the park were heard last year at a City Council meeting and vandalism was recognized by the committee as a threat to any potential statue for the park.

"Heather was also concerned about it being outdoors," Huffines said during a telephone interview.

Heather Golczynski is raising Christian Golczynski, the son she and Marc had. He's in elementary school in Maryland.

Committee discussion Tuesday also recognized that Marshall County has lost two other servicemen during the war on terror: Todd Edward Nunes, who perished in 2004 while on patrol from his base in Iraq; and David Hierholzer, who died in 2006 during a mission in Afghanistan.

Golczynski, 30, was killed as the result of a gunshot wound he received while on foot patrol in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq on March 27, 2007. He is buried in Wheel Cemetery in Bedford County.

At least two other bronze busts have been cast to honor fallen Marines from South Central Tennessee counties. They include: Daniel B. McClenney of Flat Creek in Bedford County, and Nathan Clemons of Winchester in Franklin County. Those busts are on the main floor of their respective county courthouses.

Those busts were produced much in the same fashion as the one of Golczynski will be - by private donations received through an organization of Marines.

"It's called Operation Never Forget," Huffines said of the organization. "They said it would be ready this spring. Marc's Marines have been the ones who have pushed this. They pitched in money for it. Marc was a Marine Reservist in a unit from Nashville that hasn't lost that many guys."

Fewer than half a dozen Marines in Golczynski's unit have been killed, however, Huffines said, "Marc was the only non-commissioned officer in the group who was killed."

The Golczynski family has "had very little to do with Marc's bust being created," Huffines said. "We have been riding the tail of the comet, so to speak. I don't know what to tell Marshall County to do. But we know that Marc's buddies want to have a celebration for Marc."

Golczynski portrayed the Marshall County High School mascot during games, played in the school's band and was on the school's wrestling team. He also appeared in a production of the "Wizard of Oz" at Marshall Community Theater.

Asked whether the school or theater were appropriate locations for Golczynski's bust, Huffines replied, "Either would be fine. I thought of the high school and the courthouse, or City Hall, but I have concerns about it being outdoors. Mayor Phillips and Edmund Roberts were concerned about security."