A small, makeshift wall served as a showcase of art from a first grade classroom and as a reminder of why the crowd gathered.
Nimmons Williams drew a flag, two small tanks and wrote the following: "In memory my Grandpa: Tommy H. Garland who fought in The Vietnam War."
That was one of several postings from an Evans Elementary first grade class that could be read at the Second Annual Red, White and Blue Veteran's Celebration. The event was held on Saturday on the field behind the Evans Kroger.
Columbia County Commission Chairman Barry Fleming gave the opening remarks, thanking those who attended and reflecting on how Sept. 11 has affected the nation and how it views its soldiers.
"We've seen that war can reach out shores," Fleming said.
After a Fort Gordon K-9 demonstration, the Columbia County Choral Society sang several patriotic songs as onlookers sang along.
Other highlights of the event were a parade, music by the U.S. Amy Signal Corps Band and a flag retirement ceremony performed by The American Legion 192 of Evans.
The 10-minute ceremony involved several inspections by various members of the legion. Ashes were buried behind the Legion's office.
"It's just the appropriate way to dispose the flag that all veterans have served under." Legion Commander Ed Beckum said.
Maj. Gen. Pat Cavanaugh, commanding general of Fort Gordon, took part in the event by offering his thoughts on Memorial Day and helping with a special presentation to Tina Long, wife of Maj. Stephen Long who was killed during the terrorist attack on the Pentagon.
"It's a time for the public to recognize those who have given the last final measure," Cavanaugh said. "The public can feel proud of the men and woman who continue to uphold the great tradition of this country."
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