Thousands turn out for largest Memorial Day ceremony in Georgia

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Thousands of people turned out Monday in Roswell for what organizers called the Largest Memorial Day Ceremony in Georgia

This annual ceremony at Roswell began in 1997 with 12 individuals coming together to create a non-political, non-commercial ceremony honoring veterans and the sacrifices they made in protecting our freedom.

The first ceremony attracted 1,800 people, but organizers predicted 6,000 to 7,000 attended this year.

One of this year’s participants is World War II veteran Carl Toney, who told News Radio 106 7’s Christy Hutchings he’s thrilled with the turnout.

But Toney admits a lot of people have forgotten what this day is all about.

Toney said, “Wars have always been there. Back in the early days of the Roman Empire, they were going on and they will always go on. Always. But people forget that.”

He added, “They forget that there’s somebody out there that wants what you have. And, you better protect it.”

The ceremony featured the annual Laying of the Wreath, “From the Heart” reflections by veterans, a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps.

Delivering the keynote address was retired Major General Ronald Johnson, who served as deputy commanding general and deputy chief of engineers for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers until his retirement in April 2008.

Many families said the Roswell event is an annual tradition for them so they can teach their children the history and true meaning of Memorial Day.