Volunteers help remember veterans on Memorial Day
It is a task these volunteers take on lovingly each year.
On May 25, local volunteers led by Newnan Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2667 gathered to place flags on the graves of veterans in cemeteries across Coweta County for Memorial Day weekend.
The community volunteers gathered early in the morning for instructions at cemeteries, including the historic Oak Hill Cemetery in Newnan, to help with placing the flags. Jeff Carroll, VFW commander, led the group at Oak Hill.
About 3,000 flags were distributed in the three major cemeteries, and the volunteer help was appreciated.
The crowd this year was much bigger than the last three annual workdays she has attended, said volunteer Jennie Staley, who was out helping with her husband and children.
People wishing to help were asked to meet at the Coweta Veterans Club, on U.S. Highway 29 North, at 8:30 a.m. They brought along screwdrivers to punch holes in the soil for easier flag placement.
Also, as part of its Memorial Day weekend efforts, area veterans with Post 2667 held the annual Buddy Poppy drive at several Coweta locations. Funds collected for the little red flower are used exclusively for the relief and benefit of veterans and families in need.
Since Memorial Day 2013, Post 2667 has made donations in cash and service in the amount of more than $7,000 to distressed veterans and families.
The poppy became a symbol of fallen veterans after a poem was written about the vibrant red blossoms on a former battlefield in France. A Georgia woman, Moina Michael, championed the selling of poppies to help veterans in need.
World War II soldiers who gave their lives for their country were the focus of this year’s Memorial Day program in downtown Newnan, sponsored by VFW Post 2667.
Ceremonies were held 11 a.m. Monday at Veterans Memorial Plaza in the city park at Temple Avenue and Jackson Street. Honored were the more than Cowetans killed in action in World War II, with their names read aloud.
Members of Post 2667 felt that there are so few World War II veterans still living and that they and – particularly – their fallen comrades should be remembered and honored.
“Our citizens need to be reminded of the sacrifices in battlefields and the home front that our nation endured during the truly big war. Our debt to that generation of Americans is huge and we have so little time left to see them, shake their hand, render thanks and join with them in remembering their fallen comrades,” said Dick Stender, program director with VFW Post 2667.
For more information on area veterans and service programs, call the Coweta Veterans Club on U.S. Highway 29 North at 770-251-6949.