Hundreds of citizens turned out for the Memorial Day Memorial March in Stockbridge to honor military service members. (Staff Photos: Alisande Osuch)
STOCKBRIDGE — The city of Stockbridge broguht back its popular Memorial Day celebration this year.
The celebration, a Memorial Walk, featured more than 250 citizens and visitors who gathered at the Merle Manders Center Monday to support military service members.
Councilman Alphonso Thomas, author of the resolution to restore the Memorial Day event, local minister Vickie Simpson presented the invocation to the crowd. The crisp, military bearing of the Stockbridge High School Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps contingent, whose members led the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the “Star Spangled Banner,” added to the dignity of the day.
After offering motivational comments, Stockbridge’s Mayor Tim Thompson, along with the JROTC students, led the participants on a one mile Memorial Walk through the heart of Stockbridge to Memorial Cemetery.
Once the group reassembled at the cemetery, Councilman Tony Ford, himself a retired Army Colonel, started the more formal part of the day’s events. Ford welcomed the walkers and dignitaries, including Gladys Trimble, whom he mentioned had seen many wars in her 93 years.
After the ceremonial presentation of colors by the Stockbridge JROTC Color Guard, Pastor Timothy Gleaton stirred the hearts and minds of the crowd with his invocation and comments.
In his remarks, Thompson reiterated his gratitude for sacrifices made by our country’s servicemen and women. To demonstrate this sentiment, memorial flags were presented to families of military war veterans buried there, while Eureka Lodge #354 members planted flags along headstones.
To a crowd whose emotions ranged all morning between smiles and tears, Stephanie Hart sang the powerful hymn “Amazing Grace.” Last on the program was retired Army Lt. Col. Lee Stuart, who initiated Stockbridge’s Memorial Day Walk when he became mayor in 2010, acknowledged those in the audience who had served in the military. “Taps” was then played in final tribute, and the long line of walkers, strollers, and vehicles proceeded back to the start-point a mile away, each person reminded anew that “All gave some. Some gave all.”
“Every municipality across this country needs to honor and remember those men and women who served in our Armed Forces and died for our freedom,” said Thomas