Voice of Democracy winners lead pledge


Jeff Carroll, commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2667, congratulates winners of the local Voice of Democracy contest. From left are winner Katie Johnson, Carroll, second runner-up Jonathan Thong and first runner-up Kelsie McDuffie.

From Staff Reports
Winners of the 2011-2012 Voice of Democracy contest led the pledge to the American flag at Memorial Day ceremonies on Monday.
Katie Johnson, Kelsie M. McDuffie and Jonathan D. Thong stood together and led the crowd in the pledge to open the ceremonies.
“It was an audio essay contest,” explained Jeff Carroll, commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2667.
Post 2667 received 10 entries. VFW members Willis Byrd, Dave Jessel and John Skinner were judges.
Johnson won first place and received a $100 check. McDuffie was first runner-up and received $75. The $50 second runner-up award went to Thong.
Johnson is a homeschooled student who lives near Luthersville, and Thong, a Newnan resident, is a Soaring Eagle Homeschool student. McDuffie is a student at Northgate High School.
As first place winner, Johnson had her entry submitted to the District 5 Voice of Democracy contest.

Members of VFW Post 2667 raised the flags – first raising the American flag fully and then bringing it back to half staff in tribute to America’s war dead. The Georgia and POW/MIA flags were then raised to half staff.

John Skinner, a member of the post, played “Taps” at the close of the program.

Local veteran G. D. Hendrix, who is the current American Legion chaplain, gave the invocation and welcomed dignitaries on Monday. He referred to the Memorial Day events as a time “to pay tribute to these fallen comrades – to those who died for our freedoms.”

Winston Skinner, a local minister who is also assistant news editor at The Newnan Times-Herald, gave the benediction.

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