On a day of lake outings and outdoor grilling, many chose to spend Memorial Day in Grovetown on Monday, celebrating the city's heritage and dedicating a memorial wall.
Hundreds of spectators flocked to the city's 2007 Heritage Festival and the dedication of the new Grovetown Memorial Park adjacent to City Hall. The park includes a War Memorial Wall, which lists about 800 names of military personnel from Columbia County.
"We have 800 names on these granite panels from the Civil War to the war in Iraq," Grovetown Mayor Dennis Trudeau said. "Many more will be added, I am sure, as our great country defends the fight for freedom the world over."
A host of local dignitaries helped officially dedicate the new granite-inscribed curved wall.
Trudeau said that when the project was in the design phase, he was asked on numerous occasions if the wall's introductory inscription would include the names of the city council and mayor.
"My decision was to not put the names of our mayor and council on the granite, but to take a verse from 2 Timothy, Chapter 4, Verse 7. That Scripture reads: 'I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith,' " Trudeau said.
Trudeau said he also chose the following stanza by R.W. Lilliard:
"Fear not that ye have died for naught
"The torch ye threw to us we caught
"Ten million hands will hold it high
"And freedom's light shall never die."
Another highlight during the day's festivities was a message from Fort Gordon's commanding general, Randolph Strong. He will leave Fort Gordon and the area in the middle of July to assume duties at the Pentagon in Washingon.
Concluding the event, Trudeau gave Strong and his wife, Lori, gifts in appreciation of their service to the Grovetown area and to the military. Strong's wife and Trudeau's wife, Mary Ann, were then handed a white dove, which they released in hopes of peace for the country.
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