Men of Cornerstone provide music for program
by W. Winston Skinner
With perfect pitch – singing without accompaniment – the Men of Cornerstone provided music for Monday’s Memorial Day ceremonies in downtown Newnan.
The quartet from Cornerstone United Methodist Church sang “American Tribute,” a medley of patriotic songs. Later in the program at Veterans Memorial Plaza in the city park at Jackson Street and Temple Avenue, they sang “God Bless America” – encouraging the crowd of about 550 to join in.
Members of the quartet are Mike Ferrante, Paul Griffin, Dick Shaffer and Robert Thompson.
U.S. Marine Corps JROTC Cadet Cole Veal played “Taps” on the trumpet near the conclusion of the ceremonies, which paid tribute to Cowetans who served – and who lost their lives – in World War II.
Curt Grayer led the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag. G.D. Hendrix, past national chaplain of the Sons of the American Legion, offered the invocation and recognized public officials in attendance.
The benediction was given by Winston Skinner, a minister who is also an editor at The Newnan Times-Herald.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2667 sponsors the annual event. The Memorial Day observance began with marking the graves of veterans with flags on Saturday.
“About 100 men, women and kids showed up to help out with the flags – young and old, some with all their kids and grandkids,” Stender said.
Their actions demonstrated that they care – that those who serve matter. “In this world of cynicism, disfunction, violence and instant everything, it is inspiring to live in a community where service, honor and patriotism are taken seriously,” Stender said.
“We had a great crowd Saturday to help us put out flags and decorate graves,” agreed Jeff Carroll, commander of the VFW post.