John Willoughby: Greene Publishing, Inc.
On Monday, May 27, Madison County will join millions of other citizens around the world as we pay tribute to and honor military servicemen and women for the bravery and sacrifices that they have given to keep America free. This year's theme is "All gave some … some gave all."
Because of their willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty, America is the beneficiary of and enjoys the freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear. The price that they have paid and are still paying should resonate with every citizen that freedom is not free.
A patriotic celebration in honor of Memorial Day will be held from 11 a.m. until 12 p.m. at the Four Freedoms Park, in Madison. Retired Army 1SG. Calvin Graham, a member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter #1000, of Valdosta, will be the guest speaker. In addition to speaking, 1SG. Graham will display a personally-designed blanket with names of the servicemen and women who paid the supreme price and gave their lives during the Vietnam War.
At the event, Big Bend Hospice Advisory Council will lay a wreath at a monument honoring Madison County residents who died in combat during wartime. Additionally, Greenville resident Trish Hinton will read the names of servicemen and women from the Madison County community who were awarded the Purple Heart. A Purple Heart canvas will be presented to the Madison County Board of County Commissioners and will be displayed at the courthouse annex.
Citizens are encouraged to attend this patriotic celebration to express their appreciation and gratitude to veterans all over the world, both active and inactive, for their sacrifices. Hotdogs, chips and drinks will be provided by New Generation Baptist Church, and community youth will render performances.
For more information, call Oliver Bradley at (850) 464-1191. Four Freedoms Park is located at the corner of US Hwy. 90 and Range St., across the street from the Madison County Courthouse.