Historic Gratitude Train Now in Lee County

A gratitude train, with significance dating back to World War II, was delivered to Bishopville on Saturday.

Bishopville, SC (WLTX) -  A piece of history has made its way to Lee County.

A historic gratitude train was delivered to Bishopville Saturday thanks to the VFW. 

The significance of the train dates back all the way to World War II. Americans helped European nations devastated by the war by sending much-needed supplies.

As a thank you, in 1949 France sent the U-S 49 box cars filled with French memorabilia and the train cars have been floating around ever since. 

“There’s a certain meaning that these boxcars have to our veterans up until World War II and once they’re gone it may not mean anything to anybody unless we preserve the history and that’s what we intend to do, that’s what we’re going to do, it’s as simple as that,” Ronnie Williams, Commander of the VFW Post 3096 Bishopville said.

Leaders in Lee County say they hope this will attract more tourists to the area.

“So, we’re going to make it a focal point for our downtown area,” Williams explained. “We hope to be able to turn us into somewhat of a tourism-based economy for Lee County.”

“Now our goal now that we’ve acquired it from them and moved it today I keep throwing that out but that was a big deal for us, is to place it on Main Street in Bishopville," Williams said. 

For more information on gratitude trains, please visit: http://www.rypn.org/

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