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Ernie's Elmira Legacy - Part 4

1961 Heisman Trophy Winner Ernie Davis
Editors Note: This is part four of a four part series on the legacy of Ernie Davis in his hometown of Elmira, New York. This is to show the very prominent position Ernie Davis still has in Elmira today, as well as lead up to the world premier of The Express in Syracuse, New York on Friday September 12th. Part one can be found here, part two can be found here, part three can be found here.

Ernie Davis lived his life to the fullest in the short time he was on this earth. However, he died far too young and with too much potential left in him. Upon his death, he was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira, located at 1200 Walnut Street. He is buried among other famous Elmirans including Mark Twain, John Jones, Hal Roach, and most notably for me is my father. It is a sprawling, beautiful cemetery located minutes from the Elmira Correctional Facility, Downtown Elmira, and the Arnot Ogden Medical Center.

Here, Ernie Davis has a fairly large headstone, which is detailed very modestly. At the top it simply reads “Ernie Davis, Heisman Trophy 1961”. In the bottom right corner it reads “Ernest R., 1939-1963”. This grave, although not in my pictures, usually at various points in the year has different items people have left for him in his memory. There is usually a football placed at the base of the stone, and various cards and mementos left for him. As you can see, people still place flowers on the grave regularly. This is his final resting place after only a short life lived to the fullest.

While Davis may be gone, clearly his memory, especially in his hometown, lives on. That legacy will be even more solidified tonight with the world premier of The Express, the movie about his life. I will be in attendance this evening to chronicle “The Orange Carpet” events, and give my thoughts on the movie when I return. Look for that on Sunday or Monday, along with my post-mortem of the Penn State game. While Syracuse football future remains unclear, one thing is certain; the legacy of Ernie Davis is secure, even before the movie, in his hometown of Elmira, New York, who will never forget not only his innate athletic ability, but his good citizenship and desire to give back to those around him. He is truly missed. The full gallery of all my pictures of the various Davis related sights can be found here.

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4 Responses to “Ernie's Elmira Legacy - Part 4”

  1. # Blogger John

    Also of note is that Marie Fleming, Erine's mother, is buried next to Erine. She died in May, falling (sorry for the bad pun) just a few months short of seeing The Express. She had spurned prevous movie attempts because she was afraid they wouldn't show Ernie for the great human being he was. But I think she felt assured that this one would do Ernie right. We shall see, but from what I've heard, this does do Ernie right.  

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