Here are Memorial Day weekend ceremonies around metro Atlanta

(file photo) Patsy Hurst places an American flag near a headstone at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton in 2021. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer/Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

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(file photo) Patsy Hurst places an American flag near a headstone at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton in 2021. (Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer/Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Georgia National Cemetery in Canton to hold public event Saturday

The Department of Veteran Affairs’ National Cemetery Administration will host its first public Memorial Day ceremonies this weekend after a two-year hiatus.

Ceremonies nationwide were not open in 2020 or 2021 to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“There is no more fitting place to reflect upon the service and sacrifice of America’s Veterans and service members than in a national cemetery,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “Here lie those who served, sacrificed and — in many cases — gave their lives for us and our country. We are forever in their debt.”

The Georgia National Cemetery in Canton will host a solemn ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday, followed by a flag placement. Flags will be provided and volunteers are encouraged to stay after the ceremony to place flags on each grave. (To help install flags, a screwdriver and hammer may be needed).

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Here are several other events happening in metro Atlanta this weekend to honor those who sacrificed their lives for the country.

Acworth: 10-11 a.m. Saturday. 4425 Beach St., Acworth, GA 30101. Veterans and current servicemen will pay tribute at Cauble Park at Patriots Point to the men and women who have fought and died for our nation. Engraved pavers dedicated to those who have served in our Armed Forces that have been purchased since the previous Veterans Day will be presented at the event.

Alpharetta: 9 a.m. Monday. The city of Alpharetta and the Rotary Club of Alpharetta will host a tribute at Alpharetta City Hall, 2 Park Plaza. The event will include the National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance and a keynote speech by Lt. Col. Jeff Davis.

Dunwoody: 10-11 a.m. Monday. 4770 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody, GA 30338. The city of Dunwoody Parks and Recreation Department will hold its annual Memorial Day Ceremony at the Brook Run Park Veterans Memorial. The ceremony is open to the public and co-hosted by Dunwoody’s Veteran Events Planning Committee. The ceremony includes patriotic music and a guest speaker.

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Kennesaw: 9 a.m. to noon Monday. Swift-Cantrell Park, 3140 Old 41 Highway, Kennesaw. The Kennesaw Parks and Recreation Department and Crossfit Koinonia are hosting the 2022 Murph Challenge. This annual workout is done all over the globe to honor those who gave all in service to our republic. The “Murph” workout is named for the late Navy SEAL Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy. He posthumously was awarded the U.S. military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions during the War in Afghanistan that cost him his life on June 28, 2005. This was a favorite workout of his, which he called “Body Armor” — now called “The Murph.” Trainers from Crossfit Koinonia in Kennesaw will guide participants through the workouts, scale them to your fitness level and help track your progress.

Marietta: Noon Monday. Marietta National Cemetery, 500 Washington Avenue NE, Marietta. The National Memorial Day Association of Georgia is hosting the annual Memorial Day ceremony honoring veterans, both past and present, who served as well as those who gave their lives for freedom. The ceremony features patriotic music, posting of the colors, prayers, a gun salute, and speakers. All veterans and the general public are invited to attend.

Norcross: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday. Thrasher Park, 93 Park Drive, Norcross, GA 30071. The city will pay tribute to troops and their families. A collection of special guests will be hosting and entertaining throughout the day.

Peachtree Corners: 11 a.m. Monday. 5140 Town Center Blvd., Peachtree Corners, GA 30092. Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason will join others at Veterans Monument in activities including a flag ceremony, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, wreath-laying and a bugler playing Taps.

Powder Springs: 11 a.m. Monday. Veterans Memorial at the Ford Center, 4181 Atlanta St., Powder Springs. American Legion Post 294 and the city will sponsor this event.

Roswell: 11 a.m. Monday. Roswell City Hall, 38 Hill Street. With the help of the Rotary Club of Roswell, the city will honor the fallen men and women who have defended the U.S. in past conflicts.

Smyrna: 9:30 a.m. Monday. Twentieth Century Veterans Memorial, 2800 King St. SE, Smyrna next to Smyrna City Hall. This event is organized and managed by veterans groups in cooperation with Smyrna Parks & Recreation.

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Stockbridge: 9 a.m. Monday. Memorial Day March. The city of Stockbridge is inviting all members of the community to participate in the march and ceremony honoring the men and women who died in service. Attendees should arrive between 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Merle Manders Conference Center at 111 Davis Road, Stockbridge to register. Transportation will be provided to people with disabilities.

Stone Mountain Park: 9:30 p.m. Friday through Monday. 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain, GA 30083. The park will have a special salute to the troops with an extended fireworks finale following the Lasershow Spectacular each night.

Woodstock: 10 a.m. Monday. 101 Arnold Mill Road, Woodstock, GA 30188. The city of Woodstock, along with the American Legion Post 316, Marine Corps League Detachment 1311, Warriors’ Watch Riders and other local veterans’ groups, participate in a POW/MIA Remembrance, reading of Woodstock’s Honor Roll, placing of the memorial wreath, dove release, rifle honors and playing of Taps.

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About Memorial Day

The last Monday in May is Memorial Day, one of two U.S. holidays dedicated to veterans.

It commemorates military members who died while in service, particularly those who died in wars. It began after the Civil War informally in various communities, including events in Macon and Columbus, Georgia. Congress established it as a national holiday in 1971.

Veterans Day is the second holiday, observed each Nov. 11. It was first proclaimed by presidential decree in 1919 to commemorate the end of World War I as Armistice Day. It was later changed to honor all American veterans.

Source: U.S. Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs