74 / 57
      76 / 56
      75 / 54

      Long time hero honored in big way

      Dozens of people in the Lenox community in Cook County came together to honor a man who put the lives of others before his own.

      "I remember as a child he didn't speak much of it because it was a hard thing to handle, the cruelty and the abuse that he sustained while he was a prisoner," says family member Lori McClelland.

      In 1942 Mr.. Jim McClelland was taken captive by Japanese forces and held as a Prisoner of War for three years, four months, and 19 long days.

      Lori McClelland says, "And I remember the words that will stay with me forever and that was that the things that kept him going while he was a prisoner was the fact that he would one day again walk the streets of Lenox and that he would again see his mother's face."

      But on this day his bravery will be remember in a well deserved way.

      "He had a story that really needed to be told."

      Chase Daughtrey, Cook County Probate Court Judge wanted to honor the self-made hero by dedicating the a bridge over I-75 in his honor.

      "All the travelers going up and down the interstate whenever they come through Lenox, Georgia they'll know that a P.O.W and a hometown hero resided here and we wanted to dedicate it his honor and his memory," says Daughtrey.

      "He was a permanent fixture in this town you saw him everywhere you went. This is all to honor him and to tell him I believe, thank you Mr. Jim for what you've done for us," says McClelland.

      Mr. MccClelland sadly passed away 13 years ago, but in this community his life, legacy, and now bridge will forever live on.

      Stay connected to as stories develop and the FOX 31 Newscast at 10 PM. Visit us on Facebook and Twitter to join in on the conversation and connect with FOX 31!