Tuesday, May 29, 2012


President Norris Garrett (left) presented an Appreciation Plaque to Sam and Linda Pyle for their years of service.  They have monitored and maintained the fountain at the Carroll County Veterans Park since it was built in 2007-2008. It was dedicated at the Memorial Day Ceremony in 2008.  Beau Martin with Pool Rx has volunteered to perform maintenance beginning this month.  (Volunteers are not paid because they are worthless but because they are priceless.)   Of course, our three soldiers will continue to keep watch.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


On Saturday, May 26,2012, the community gathered at the Carroll County Veterans Memorial Park to remember our Veterans and show appreciation to them and to thank God for our freedoms.  The Tolling of the Bell by Don Levans opened the program followed by a welcome greeting by Will Smith.  Smith announced that the Ringing of the Bell was to recognize the 334 names on the Killed-In-Action Walls.  The Invocation and opening prayer were given by Bruce Holley. The American Legion Honor Guard Hoisted the Colors and the Central High School ROTC placed the wreath and lead the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the USA.  Carol Jackson sang the National Anthem accompanied by the Carroll Community Wind Ensemble led by Terry Lowry.  Park President Norris Garrett introduced the speaker, Daniel Jackson.  God Bless America was sung by Carol Jackson with the entire audience joining in the singing of the chorus.  The American Legion Post 143 Rifle Team performed the Three Volley Salute.  Larry Jennings closed the program with Taps.
The Central High School ROTC placed the wreath while the bagpipers played.  Commander Major May, USAF Ret., attended with the ROTC group.
Will Smith greeted everyone and thanked them for coming.  The American Legion Honor guard hoisted the USA flag.
Carol Jackson did an awesome performance of the National Anthem and she was accompanied by the Carroll Community Wind Ensemble directed by Terry Lowry.
Daniel Jackson (left) was introduced by Norris Garrett.  Jackson is President and CEO of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce among many other positions on various committees and boards.  He is truly a patriotic citizen and an asset to our community.
Jackson stated that he was surprised when he was asked to be the featured speaker but very proud to have the opportunity to represent Carroll County in thanking our veterans and our great community – both humbled and grateful for the opportunity.  He expressed a special thanks to all those involved in the beautiful Veterans Memorial Park
Jackson said he was glad that we have two special times each year to come to the park for special programs to honor our veterans and that he considers it a privilege to set up the sound system. He said, “I love our country and feel strong patriotic emotions each time I come here.”  He reflected on his childhood memories of saying the pledge and listening to the National Anthem in school; watching the National Guard units in convoy going to summer camp; playing army in the back yard and the USA always won!  He remembered the fears and concerns about building bomb shelters in the 1960s and the controversy about Vietnam when he was a teenager and young adult.  He mentioned the irony of watching Operation Desert Storm on TV from the comfort of his lazy boy - How strange to watch a war at home! 
Jackson shared special patriotic remembrances - about the time he attended the Lions International Convention in Taipei, Taiwan and attended the 4th of July 1987 celebration in an English speaking school!  Other patriotic moments were pulling the big flag at football games on the field and in the stands and during choir specials to honor veterans at the Tabernacle, watching the veterans come in walking, walking with canes, wheel chairs - still in active duty uniforms.  He shared many other times like being at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport when military troops arrived home during holidays – a voice on the PA system announced their entrance and everyone cheering.  In 2009, he toured the national monuments in Washington, DC and looked at the names on the walls of the Vietnam and WW II memorials.  It seemed like the life size figures on the Korean Memorial came alive.  It was an emotional/powerful moment!  Grateful his name was not there and thankful for all those that were.  Another vivid memory occurred when driving to Cedartown and seeing crosses and flags in the median in Buchanan to remember the fallen in WW I, WW II, Korea and Vietnam.
He said, “We are here today for Memorial Day 2012 and I want to remind you that “Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service.  It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.” In 1915, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Field,” Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red

That grows on fields were valor led

It seems to signal to the skies

That blood of heroes never dies.

She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial Day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war.  She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need.  Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans’ organization to nationally sell poppies.  Sadly, traditional observance of Memorial Day has diminished over the years.  Many Americans nowadays have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day and focus more on long weekends, family activities and what’s going on the grill. 
To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the resolution was passed in December 2000 which asks that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans “To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence.” 

“As Memorial Day approaches, it is time to pause and consider the true meaning of this holiday.  Memorial Day represents one day of national awareness and reverence, honoring those Americans who died while defending our Nation and its values.  While we should honor these heroes every day for the profound contribution they have made to secure our Nation’s freedom, we should honor them especially on Memorial Day. 
In this time of unprecedented success and prosperity throughout our land, I ask that all Americans come together to recognize how fortunate we are to live in freedom and to observe a universal ‘National Moment of Remembrance’ on each Memorial Day.  This memorial observance represents a simple and unifying way to commemorate our history and honor the struggle to protect our freedoms…..”  This memorandum was issued by President Bill Clinton and released on May 3, 2000.  It is a great reminder to us all! 
The Iconic “I Want You” Uncle Sam Poster is still familiar – In 1973, at the end of the Vietnam War, the United States ended the military draft.  The draft, also known as Conscription, had been in place since just before the United States entered World War Two, and had been continued by the government after that war due to the needs of the Cold War conflict with the Soviet Union and other Communist nations and groups.  After the draft ended in the 1970s, the U.S. military became an all-volunteer force. Amazingly 39 years later, it remains a volunteer force today.  Thank God for men and women willing to serve.

Jackson said, “At a recent wedding, the minister told the story about a young man asking the father for permission to marry his daughter.  Would you die for her?  Pause… Yes sir and I would kill for her!  Whether drafted or volunteering, our men and women pledged an oath of service to our country knowing there was a risk of injury or even death as they prepared to protect and defend our freedom. 
Today, in response to Memorial Day, we should appreciate, respect, support, encourage, celebrate, honor, mourn, and remember our veterans – especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice.  And, let’s remember their families.
President Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.  We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream.  It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
God Bless those that have served and those who defend our freedom this and every day.  God Bless those men and women, and their families, who paid the ultimate price of their lives for us.
Thank you for allowing me to share today.
(This was written by Violette Denney from the abbreviated notes of Daniel Jackson.)