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Ellijay, GA
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Memorial Day service at veterans park


The North Georgia Honor Guard will be among the local civic and patriotic groups participating in a Memorial Day service at Ellijay’s Veterans Memorial Park Monday, May 25. (Photo by Whitney Crouch)
by Michael Andrews

On Memorial Day, an Ellijay man who’s spent much of the last 20 years establishing a local place of tribute for military servicepeople wants you to remember the great price America has paid for its freedom.

Sandy Lyons, founder of Ellijay’s Veterans Memorial Park, will present the site’s 7th annual Memorial Day service Monday, May 25. The event will start at 11 a.m. in front of the veterans bridge inside River Park.

“I’m just an old veteran and I believe in what we’re doing here. (I want to) pay tribute to those who’ve served,” said Lyons, who was stationed in Germany during the Korean War.

A number of guest speakers and civic groups have been invited to attend the function including keynote speaker the Rev. Wayne Hicks from New Haven Church in Gainesville.                    

Lyons said Mike Davis, a member of the local Sons of Confederate Veterans chapter, will speak about Chief White Path, the north Georgia Indian chief whose name is known throughout Gilmer County.

“He was born here over on Turniptown Road and he (fought) in the War of 1812. A lot of people don’t know about that,” said Lyons.

More parking and seating will be available at this year’s service than in the past.

“The Lions Club is going to open up the gate down there next to the horse barn so (that area) can be used for parking,” Lyons said. “They’re also giving me about 100 more chairs and I’ll have those set up with a tent over them. (We’ll also have) handicapped parking close to where the tent and chairs are.”

Always eager to talk about what’s new at the veterans park that neighbors the Gilmer Saddle Club Arena and rec. department ballfield, Lyons invites attendees to come early or stick around after the event to see for themselves.

“I want them to see what our history’s all about. I’m still putting more brick and marble (displays) in. I’ve got the Ten Commandments up and all sorts of stuff about the American Revolution. We want a big crowd to come out and I’m trying to draw people’s attention to what we have in there,” he said.
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