Memorial Day Observances Begin
Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield soldiers began Memorial Day observances yesterday.
With her two young boys, Shanette Booker stood near the front of Fort Stewart’s chapel Thursday morning silently holding a lit candle.
Several Gold Star Families — who like the Bookers have lost a family member to conflict — joined dozens of Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield soldiers Thursday morning just ahead of Memorial Day to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
“This, for us, is a very big deal,” said Booker, whose husband Army Staff Sgt. Andre Booker died in August 2011 just after returning from a deployment to Afghanistan.
“It shows that the community still comes together to honor the fallen and that their memory isn’t just a memory, they’re still around, appreciated and their service is still honored.”
Although she attended the ceremony, held by the installation’s Survivor Outreach Services, last year, Booker did not bring her children, 10-year-old Delshawn and 9-year-old Dairrion because she didn’t think they were prepared.
This year, Booker said, she knew her boys fully understood the significance of Memorial Day.
“I asked if they know what Memorial Day is, and they both said this is the day that we honor all of the heroes that have died like Daddy,” she said. “Then my son made the comment that it’s not about parties. And I said, ‘No, it’s not about parties, and it’s not about time off; it’s about appreciating the freedom you have and appreciating those that gave that sacrifice for you to have those freedoms.’ I know they understand Memorial Day now.”
“For us, on Memorial Day it’s just so good to know that we take the time to recognize those that have made the ultimate sacrifice. It warms your heart to know that everybody in the country knows that this day is to recognize your sacrifice, your child’s sacrifice.”
Georgia observes Memorial Day
“As Americans, we live in freedom each and every day, sometimes without a passing thought and often we take it for granted,” said Deal. “But when the soldiers we honor today forfeited their lives for us, they took us by the hand, placed it under the bloodstained stream of liberty and said, this is freedom.”
Falcons Fish with Veterans
Forty-four Atlanta Falcons players and coaches took 30 injured veterans fishing as part of their annual “Fishing with the Falcons” event at Lake Lanier.
Sgt. 1st Class Angel Sanchez Torres needed a break Wednesday.
After months of rehabilitation for injuries he suffered while in Iraq, including chronic post-traumatic stress disorder, the native of Puerto Rico and 18-year Army veteran was able to escape from his reality for a few hours during the sixth annual Fishing with the Falcons at the Lanier Harbor Marina on Lake Lanier.
The event involved 44 players from the Atlanta Falcons, seven coaches and cheerleaders, paired with 30 wounded veterans — 15 from Fort Gordon and 15 from the Wounded Warrior Project from across the nation. The event featured four hours of fishing and food after the event.
“It’s a great opportunity to say thank you to our servicemen and women,” Falcons head coach Mike Smith said. “It’s a fun day for everyone and just a small token of our appreciation.”
Georgia Ports on Upswing
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed told the Savannah Economic Development Authority that the Savannah Harbor river deepening will happen and that President Obama broached the topic himself on a recent visit to Atlanta.
“With Atlanta’s world class airport and Savannah’s world class port, Georgia has the potential to become the logistics hub of the Western Hemisphere,” Reed said, noting that, as more obstacles are overcome, that vision comes closer to reality.