Saluting the fallen in Lumpkin County looks different this Memorial Day

Dahlonega stands out on Memorial Day.  Each year, the roads of the city and Lumpkin County are lined with memorial markers for those who have served and sacrificed in the United States Military. This community’s tribute to the deserving was still demonstrated this year even during the global health crisis. 

Each cross is graced with an American flag and a name.

One of them, the brother of Paul Hanson.

“People don't appreciate and recognize veterans as much as they should,” he told FOX 5.

“I’ve been around along to recognize a lot of these names. It's friends and neighbors who have passed away and have served their country honorably,”  he added as he opened the door to the warehouse where they are stored.

Each year, the markers are put up by volunteers. Most of them are over the age of 65, and most at risk for contracting coronavirus.

So like so many things, this year’s tribute is scaled back for safety reasons, with most of the 856 markers remaining in storage instead of on the sides of the winding mountain roads.

Still, Hanson says, the visual price of freedom is here, and being saluted.

“We're still here and hopefully this will be dying down a little bit so we can put all of them up in November for Veterans Day.”