Senoia’s Memorial Day includes festival, parade
by Sarah Fay Campbell
Patriotism was on display Monday in Senoia for the annual Memorial Day remembrance, festival and parade.
The ninth annual event featured a patriotic ceremony and flyover at noon, the parade, a performance by the 116th Army Band, a moment of silence and cannon salute, food, arts and crafts, and antique vendors, all in downtown Senoia. On Monday night, there was the annual fireworks display at Marimac Lakes Park.
During the day, there was a “meet and greet” with veterans at the Senoia Welcome Center. “A lot of the veterans were in there,” said Suzanne Helfman, chairman of the Senoia Downtown Development Authority, which organizes the downtown event.
“There was a steady stream of people coming in to say hello to them, talk to them and let them share their stories.” Helfman said the day’s entertainment was great, especially the performance by local band All the Rest. The speaker for the patriotic ceremony was LTC Robert C. Lyons, a retired military chaplain and new Senoia resident. Helfman said she thought Lyons was a very good speaker with a meaningful message.
The patriotic program began with a flyover by Cliff Atkins Sr. and Cliff Atkins Jr. in vintage aircraft.
The Senoia Area Historical Society had a booth set up with memorabilia and photos related to area veterans.
Some of the items were from the society’s museum, while others were on loan from local families.
“It has been so awesome,” said Museum Director Maureen Schuyler. She said one man whose photo was on display came by the booth, an hour later his son came by, and a bit later, they were both there together. Other family members were crying.
Schuyler said the idea was to create something people would find respectful. “That’s what the day is about. It’s what the historical society is about,” she said.
Plenty of veterans participated in the parade, many riding in vintage military jeeps. There was a large crowd on hand for the event.
Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans fired off a cannon salute during the moment of silence.
The fireworks show was very well-received, Helfman said. The weather held and “it was just perfect."