This handsome monument at the corner of Lauderdale Street and Alabama Avenue
honors Lt. John Tillman Melvin of Selma. He was among the first to volunteer,
and he was the first American naval officer killed in World War I. He lost his life
aboard the U.S. patrol boat Alcedo off the coast of France when it was torpoeded
by a German submarine on Nov. 5, 1917. An inscription reads, "He gave his life
that democracy and liberty might live."