Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Roswell Remembers

Memorial Day is a great time to stop and remember all of the men and women who gave their all in our Armed Forces to ensure that American continues to have the freedoms and liberties that we often take for granted.

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. My favorite part of the ceremony is the playing of the service hymns for each branch of service. It’s hard not to shed a tear or two when veterans who are normally bent with age, stand at attention proudly saluting their branch of the service.

From it’s beginnings in 1997, this ceremony has grown to over 7,000 people from all over Georgia and the southeast in attendance.

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
12:45 pm Food Tent Opens and Concert on the Lawn

This year’s key note speaker is Colonel Benjamin H. Purcell. Colonel Purcell was serving as the Deputy Commander, DaNang Sub Area Command, and Executive Officer, 80th General Support Group in Vietnam when the helicopter on which he was a passenger was shot down south of Quang Tri City, South Vietnam, in February 1968. He spent more than five (5) years as a prisoner of war, 58 months of that time in solitary confinement. Longer in solitary than any other American POW, Colonel Purcell was the highest ranking Army officer returnee from the Vietnam conflict and was released on March 27, 1973.

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