Barnwell High School JROTC color guard presents colors during a dedication ceremony of the monument commemorating service personnel from Barnwell County killed in wars since World War I.
As millions prepare to enjoy a day off and three-day weekend, a group of locals gathered at Veterans Memorial Park to remember those who gave their lives so others can enjoy such freedoms.
Salkehatchie Chapter 828 of the Vietnam Veterans of America and Marine Corps League Detachment No. 1227 hosted the May 18 ceremony dedicating a monument to Barnwell County military service personnel killed in action in all wars and conflicts since World War I.
"It's a small recognition for those who gave so much," said Danny Black with the VVA. "Freedom isn't free."
The Barnwell High School JROTC presented patriotic wreathes in front of the monument - one for each of the wars represented - while Tim Moore read the 55 names on the monument, including Solomon McGrady. He was killed in World War I.
McGrady's great nieces, Debra Heyward and Gloria Allen of Barnwell, were at the dedication and said it means a lot to have their great uncle forever remembered.
"I'm proud," said Heyward after seeing the monument, which was donated by Barnwell District 45.
"We thank everyone who did this for us," added Allen.
Horace and Katie Crawford, of Barnwell, were also in attendance to remember their friend James Miller, who was killed in Vietnam, and neighbor George Buggs, who was killed in Iraq. "It's beautiful," said Katie of the monument.
S.C. Rep. Lonnie Hosey, a Vietnam Veteran himself, called the monument "a great thing for our community" because people do not always remember those who give their all.
"I pray we never forget the ones that gave all," prayed Bill Strickland, chaplain of the VVA, during the invocation.
Moore, citing how May 18 was Armed Services Day, also thanked the soldiers who continue to fight for our freedom.
To view the list of those from Barnwell County killed in action, visit http://thepeoplesentinel.com/news/locals-killed-war-listed.
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