Smyrna Honors Fallen Heroes On Memorial Day

Microsoft Word - Memorial Day  2016 Flyer w Words 03-22-16Smyrna will salute America’s fallen on Memorial Day, May 30, starting at 9:30 a.m. at the Smyrna Veterans Memorial.

Memorial Day is when we, the American people, gather to commemorate those who died in war, as opposed to Veterans Day, which commemorates all American veterans.

“We have an honor guard, 21-gun salute, flag ceremonies, beautiful music and great speakers; the raising of the US flag and the branch service flags,” said Linda Hedrick, of the Smyrna Veteran’s Committee, herself a veteran with five years of service under her belt. For those who have attended Smyrna’s ceremony in the past, there are plenty of reasons to come back.

“We hope to share with our community and our youth why we celebrate honor those who did what was of asked of them by served their country and gave their lives died in the defense of freedom. They are our true heroes,” she said.

“We love having kids at the program,” said Narayan Sengupta. “It’s important to get them interested in history, and to get a deeper awareness that there are all kinds of heroes all around them. Maybe after they come to our Memorial Day event, they’ll be more likely to ask their grandparents, parents and neighbors about their stories.”

All will appreciate the wonderful display of military equipment, trucks, jeeps, machineguns and more. There is great music, featuring the 116th Georgia Army National Guard Band. The Campbell High School JROTC and the 94th Air Lift Command USAF Honor Guard will be on hand.  Speakers are and the Gold Star Mothers add formality and beauty. Speakers include Major General Stayce Harris, Commander, 22nd Air Force, Air Reserve Command who commands 15,000 reservists and all the big USAF C-130s in our skies and as well as State Sen. Hunter Hill, who served in both Afghanistan and Iraq. This is not a festival to buy food and trinkets, but “a program to honor those who have died in our wars protecting our way of life,” said Hedrick.

“Memorial Day is one of the most important days of the year for Veterans,” said Smyrna’s Wade Lnenicka, who has been one of the event’s organizers since its earliest days. “It is a specific time devoted to honoring the memory of fallen comrades and the sacrifices they made. It helps families of the fallen to cope with their loss by knowing the loss of their family member is not forgotten and was not made in vain.

“When citizens attend a Memorial Day ceremony, they honor those who died to protect and also provide comfort to their family members.”

Sponsors include City of Smyrna, The American Legion, Veterans Memorial Association of Smyrna, Smyrna Veterans Committee, Cobb Gold Star Mothers and Smyrna Rotary Club.

The event will be Monday, May 30, at 9:30 a.m. at the Smyrna Veterans Memorial at 2800 King Street (by Smyrna City Hall and the Smyrna Library). The event and parking is both plentiful and are free. The rain location is the Smyrna Community Center.

Following the ceremony, there will be a Barbeque Cookout open to the public held at American Legion Post 160 at 160 Legion Drive starting immediately after the ceremony (from 11:30am – 3:00 pm). There will be pulled pork plates with two sides ($8), pulled pork sandwiches with chips ($7) to enjoy there, and Smoked Pork Butts to bring home. (Half butts are $20 and full butts are $40.) Please call the Legion to pre-order the pork butts at 770-436-2501. Volunteers are needed to cook, pull pork, and help serve.

From the May 2016 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton, Powder Springs and Austell, GA.