Southern Crescent honors America's veterans

By Ed Brock

In McDonough people filled the square to honor and celebrate the sacrifices made by those who have fought for America's freedom.

Performances were given by the Henry County Middle School Band and the posting of the colors were done by the Henry County High School Junior R.O.T.C. Color Guard.

Marine Corp. Lee H. Carmichael, a 1999 graduate of Henry County High School, got emotional as he spoke about how society puts so much value on celebrities but veterans often are forgotten. They would rather talk about a war movie than talk to a person who has actually fought in a war.

At the Road to Tara Museum in Jonesboro 81-year-old Rudy Berthoud recalled his glory days as a Tuskegee Airmen.

As a tribute in part to Veteran's Day, the museum invited Berthoud, who lives in Riverdale, and other members of the Atlanta Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen to attend the opening of a new exhibit on African American history, “From the Ivory Coast to the Red Earth of Tara.”

“It was a nice group of people here,” Berthoud said. “Very warm, very cordial.”

On the table in front of him were pictures from Berthoud's time with the military's first group of black pilots. There's a picture of him in the unit's choir.

“We sang and made recordings,” Berthoud said.

Berthoud served from 1943 to 1945, training in piloting bombers and navigation, though he never served overseas as other members of the Tuskegee Airmen did.

He was looking forward to seeing the members of the Atlanta Chapter who were scheduled to come to the museum later Friday afternoon.

“It's always good to see them,” Berthoud said. “It was a wonderful experience to be in the company of those young men.”