Querin "Quinn" E. Herlik, a former POW during the Vietnam War, salutes the flag during the fifth annual Red, White and Blue Veterans Celebration at the Columbia County Justice Center in Evans.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Karenann Amster, of Evans, knows all about the price of America's freedom.
"It's freedom that I fought for," said Amster, an Army retiree, who fought in the Vietnam War and served four years and 28 days in the military before medically retiring.
Amster was one of many veterans to be honored May 28 at Columbia County's fifth annual Red, White and Blue Veterans Celebration, which was held for the first time at the Columbia County Government Complex in Evans. In previous years, the event was staged on Doctors Hospital field.
Pam Tucker, the county's emergency division director, said about 900 people attended the event, adding that such attendance was on par with previous years.
Tucker, who is a member of the event's planning committee, said the event becomes more popular with attendees each year.
The event featured guest speakers Maj. Gen. Janet Hicks and U.S. Congressman Charlie Norwood and included fireworks, a flag-retirement ceremony and performances by the U.S. Army Signal Corps Band and Lakeside High School's rifle drill team.
Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross said the event was to pay homage to America's heroes.
A fireworks display capped off the fifth annual Red, White and Blue Veterans Celebration at the Columbia County Justice Center.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"It's an honor to be here to honor those people who have honored our country," he said.
While honoring veterans for their sacrifice of service, families of four county leaders and World War II veterans were recognized: U.H. Pittman, Vincent Dale Robertson, John Charles Allen Sr. and James Morgan "Red" Fulcher.
Jennie Walthall, of Evans, who attended the ceremony with her 6-year-old daughter Katlyn, said she will never forget the price tag men and women have paid for the country.
"It's very important to commemorate the sacrifice these men and women make daily," she said, adding that her husband and father are veterans.
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