by: Donna Haralson,The News and Banner
The Town of Centralhatchee hosted a dedication for their recently completed Veterans Memorial Park. The park honors those who served or are serving in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marines.
Mayor Barbie Crockett welcomed the large crowd thanked the veterans for their service before the program began. The ceremony included a drill presentation of the POW/MIA Honor Guard Team by the American Legion of Georgia. Heard High School graduate and UGA student Gracie Rowe sang the National Anthem. John Cash, of the Marines, led the Pledge of Allegiance and WWII Navy veteran Jesse Bell gave the invocation. Kallee Crockett read a poem titled “Thank You Veterans” by Justin, 5th Grader Meeks Elementary School. Members of the Heard High School marching band provided music and band director Eric Vogel, Army National Guard played “Taps.” Other speakers included Jim Bishop, Commander of American Legion Post 148, Dale Barnett, Past National Commander for the American Legion, and Veteran David Neighbors, Airborne Infantry, of Centralhatchee read a proclamation declaring Centralhatchee as an official “Purple Heart Town.” Steven Calhoun, Army gave the Benediction.
Veterans from each branch were asked to stand for recognition during the ceremony and acknowledged for their service.
The park was approved by council members Julia Hand, Eley Loftin, Barbara Norwood, Walt Wiggins, and Emmett “Pepper” Jackson in 2015 and paid for using SPLOST funds.