Fallen soldiers remembered at Milledgeville veteran cemetery

MILLEDGEVILLE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Memorial Day is a time to remember those who lost their lives serving our country. Some also stop to thank those military members who are still with us. 41NBC attended this year’s memorial service at Milledgeville’s Georgia Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

The cemetery was established in 2001 after the Georgia Forestry Commission gave the state’s Department of Veterans Services 142 acres of land. Flags are placed on all burial sites and at the front entrance of the cemetery every Memorial Day, according to the department’s website.

“It’s a day of reflection. I’m a Vietnam Veteran and it brings back a lot of memories of friends that I knew that I lost,” said David Blanton, Ride Captain of the Patriot Guard Riders.

Since Memorial Day 2015, four Georgians have died serving our country. They were listed in the service program:

  • Army, PFC Monterrious T. Daniel from Griffin, 19
  • Army Spec. Kyle E. Gilbert from Buford, 24
  • Air Force SSGT Chester J. McBride from Statesboro, 30
  • Air Force A1C Kcey E. Ruiz from McDonough, 21

“We were spit on. We had rocks thrown at us. People didn’t want anything to do with us. People didn’t even know where many of us had been. We’ve been fighting for our country. So just thank them,” said Johnny Payne, the Executive Director of the Heart of Georgia United Way.

Payne was the service’s keynote speaker.

Visitors were given a small envelop with a butterfly inside to symbolize lost servicemen and women.

“It’s an honorable profession for those that choose to stay in the service. It takes a lot of dedication and it does come with its risk,” said Blanton.

The Georgia Department of Veterans Services’ website says as of December 31, 2015, 2,635 veterans, spouses and dependents have been buried at the Milledgeville cemetery.

Categories: Baldwin County, Local News

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