Roswell, Georgia hosts the largest Memorial Day Ceremony in Georgia on the grounds of City Hall. The grassy lawn between City Hall and the Faces of War Memorial is a fitting location for the ceremony. It’s hard not to shed a tear or two when veterans who are normally bent with age, stand at attention proudly saluting as the service hymn for their branch of the service is played.
From its beginnings in 1997, this ceremony has grown to over 7,000 people from all over Georgia and the southeast in attendance, each year.
10:00 am Displays Open to the Public
10:15 am Pre-Ceremony Music
11:00 am Official Start of Program
12:30 pm Conclusion of Program
This year’s key note speaker is Sergeant George Lingefelt. He was born Feb 27, 1923 in Silver City, GA. He entered the Army in December 1942 and officially sworn into service in 1943. Following boot camp, at Camp Howze in Gainesville, Texas, Sergeant Lingefelt was assigned to the 81st Wildcat Division as an infantryman machine gunner. Known as the oldest Division in the Army, the 81st was the first Division to be decorated with a shoulder patch, which depicted a fighting black wildcat. Following maneuvers in Louisiana, the 81st was sent to the South Pacific to secure a group of islands including New Caledonia, New Guinea, Palau, and Angeur as part of a larger offensive campaign known as “Operation Forager.” Following the securing of a B29 base, the 81st Division was sent back to New Caledonia for re-supplying the Division prior to leaving for the Philippines. Rising to the rank of #1 Gunner, Sgt. Lingefelt and the 81st Wildcat Division were deployed to clear the Philippine mountains of the Japanese. During these maneuvers, 80% of his Division contracted dysentery and Sgt. Lingefelt himself lost 60 lbs. Machine Gun Sgt. Lingefelt’s 81st Wildcat Division was scheduled to join with the 77th Infantry Division to make the first beach landings invading Japan when WW2 came to an end. Sgt. George Lingefelt proudly served his Country with two brothers who thankfully survived. Mr. Lingefelt’s current passion, in retirement, is as Scout Master Emeritus of Troop 465 – Hickory Flat, where he has helped develop boys into young men for more than 50 years.