Who gave us our freedoms? It was our veterans

It was the 11th hour, the 11th day and the 11th month -- the rain stopped and the sun peeked though the clouds as one of the most special Veterans Day programs in our community's history took place in our beautiful new Veterans Memorial Plaza on Wednesday. Small-town America was at its patriotic best during the one-hour program that honored all veterans but especially spotlighted our town's two Medal of Honor winners --Col. Joe M. Jackson and Maj. Stephen W. Pless. Statues of Jackson, Pless and two scouts were unveiled. The statues are the finishing touches on the Veterans Memorial Plaza, which had been dedicated on Memorial Day in May. The statues and this magnificent plaza honoring all veterans is a fitting tribute. It's a tribute to Jackson, who now lives in Washington state. It's a tribute to Pless, who was killed in an accident in 1969, and his family. It's a tribute to all veterans who have served their country.
The plaza also is a reminder for every citizen of Newnan and Coweta County of our great heritage and the great patriotism of the men and women from this community who have served their country and helped ensure the freedoms we enjoy today. As Jackson said in his remarks at the program, it was not the orator who gave us freedom of speech -- it was the veterans. It was not the priest or preacher who gave us freedom of religion -- it was the veterans. And likewise, it was not the journalist who gave us freedom of the press -- it was the veterans. We are grateful for all our freedoms, and we are grateful our community has erected this special Veterans Memorial Plaza to honor and to remember the men and women who are proudly called veterans.

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