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Patriotism abounds in Henry County
by Noreen Cochran
May 23, 2013 12:42 PM | 1577 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye<br>From left, volunteers Larry and Nita Rucker and Councilman Henry Byrd gather in front of city hall where they have placed flags and crosses to honor veterans on Memorial Day.
Staff / Katherine Frye
From left, volunteers Larry and Nita Rucker and Councilman Henry Byrd gather in front of city hall where they have placed flags and crosses to honor veterans on Memorial Day.
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In very different ways, Henry County cities Hampton, Stockbridge and McDonough will pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

Hampton will continue its four-year-old tradition of placing flags, crosses and markers along Main Street, an idea City Councilman Charlie Hearn said he borrowed from another municipality.

“My wife Cindy and I had been up in Dahlonega and they display markers and flags,” Hearn said. “We asked about doing something like that. [Then-] Mayor R.W. Coley said, ‘Run with it.’”

Hearn said he and his team of 15 volunteers worked Saturday to plant more than 200 flags, each bearing the name of a Hampton hero.

“We put them out a week before and leave them for up a week after,” he said about the displays, which, at 4 feet in height, can easily be viewed from car windows.

The Stockbridge Historical Association will host its fourth annual Memorial Day ceremony Monday at 9 a.m. at Memorial Park Cemetery.

This year’s ceremony will feature the color guards from the Stockbridge High School Navy Junior ROTC.

Capt. Ralph Malone, a retired naval officer who teaches the junior reserve officers training corps, said they are scaling back from the parades of 2011 and 2012.

“This year it’s going to be a small, intimate gathering,” he said.

“We’re going to march around Memorial Park, then into the cemetery and conduct a memorial program for the veterans. We’ll lay flags at each of the graves.”

Malone said the most important aspect is honoring the veterans who have fallen and the lessons that such recognition teaches survivors.

“It’s important we stress that to our kids and honor the people who have gone before them,” he said. “It’s also to instill that honor in our cadets.”

McDonough will host its Memorial Day service Monday at 11 a.m. at the Veterans Wall of Honor at Heritage Park.

The program includes guest speakers, a vocalist, poetry and a proclamation.

The Veterans Historical Museum, also at the park, will display Vietnam War weapons.
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