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Savannah area remembers military sacrifice on Memorial Day

Savannah Morning News - 5/29/2018

May 29--The rains held off through most of Memorial Day morning as the Savannah area took time to honor those who gave their life in service of their country.

Richmond Hill's annual Memorial Day ceremony in J.F. Gregory park was moved underneath shelter to avoid the forecasted showers.

About 200 people piled underneath the roof and sat on picnic tables to watch the proceedings, which featured Ft. Stewart Garrison Commander Col. Jason Wolter.

Wolter thanked the families of the men and women who died to preserve American values.

"I'd like to make a special recognition to our Gold Star Families, the families of America's fallen heroes. Those that may be in attendance today, certainly in this community, and across our grateful nation, we are honored to stand with you on this solid, sacred day," Wolter said. "We are humbled by your sacrifice, inspired by your resilience and grateful for your continued service to our communities."

Charles George, the Commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7331, spoke at the ceremony as well.

George, a 24-year Air Force veteran said he spends Memorial Day remembering his friends who gave their lives in the service of America.

"It means a lot. I actually have friends I've known throughout my military career that I've lost -- either in combat or in an aircraft accident," George said. "It actually means a lot. A lot of those friends were really close to me."

After the ceremony, the crowd marched through the soggy grass to the Veterans Monument.

Wolter and Richmond Hill Mayor Russ Carpenter carried a red, white and blue wreath to the foot of the flag, which was flying at half-mast.

After the two placed the wreath, a 21-gun salute was fired. Richmond Hill police Sgt. Tim Saia played taps.

Out on Tybee Island, a few folks braved the inclement weather to spend their three-day weekend on the beach

Tybee Island Lifeguard Captain Courtney McDonald said the beach has been mostly calm this Memorial Day weekend.

"We've actually had a pretty calm weekend for it being a holiday weekend," McDonald said. "People have been listening to the lifeguards, which makes it easier."

The grey skies that covered the Savannah area this weekend deterred some of the crowds, McDonald said. Yellow flags flew on Monday, signifying a rip current threat brought on by the stormy weather.

Typically, the lifeguards are out from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but McDonald said some lifeguards will stay until 8 p.m. on busy weekends like this one.

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(c)2018 Savannah Morning News (Savannah, Ga.)

Visit the Savannah Morning News (Savannah, Ga.) at savannahnow.com

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