BREMEN, Ga. - Paul Saylor is buried in a small churchyard near Temple, Georgia. For the many people who knew him, their memories don’t rest there with him, but elsewhere.
Saylor was a standout on the football field in Bremen. He played there, graduated on that field, and mourners gathered for his funeral on that same field when he passed.
“There were probably 1,500 here. They were in the stands and outside the gates,” Patti Saylor, Paul’s mother, said.
Saylor graduated in 2002 and signed up with the Georgia National Guard while attending college on a football scholarship.
“He was always looking for an opportunity to pick people up and make them smile,” said former principal Duane McManus.
Saylor deployed to Iraq while life in his small town went on.
On August 15, 2005, Saylor was killed in Iraq and Bremen’s heart broke.
“The emotions of 2005 were so overwhelming, it's just impossible to put them into words,” McManus said.
His mother said, “Memorial days brings it to the surface for other people, but if you have lost someone, it’s an everyday thing.”
The Bremen community and his classmates from 2002 plan to honor Paul’s history on the football field by tearing down the stadium’s old scoreboard and replacing it with one that honors Saylor along with all veterans. The stadium is currently undergoing extensive renovations and his friends approached school officials with this idea.
They are raising $75,000 for a new digital scoreboard. The tentative design shows a brick wall underneath with plaques that loved ones can buy to honor anyone who has served in the armed forces.
“From rec football to adults are going to walk by that scoreboard for many years and see those names. I hope that it touches their hearts,” said his mother.
Paul Saylor’s family said they would appreciate this Memorial Day weekend, if you would pause and perhaps say prayer for our veterans who have fallen.
You can find a link to this scoreboard campaign on the school, web page at www.bremencs.com.