Alpharetta and Johns Creek’s Memorial Day honors

Rafael Picklesimer plays taps to close a 2016 Roswell Remembers Memorial Day celebration. AJC FILE PHOTO 2016

Combined ShapeCaption
Rafael Picklesimer plays taps to close a 2016 Roswell Remembers Memorial Day celebration. AJC FILE PHOTO 2016

While some Memorial Day tributes have been canceled in north Fulton, there will be opportunities to honor veterans during the holiday weekend. Alpharetta will host a virtual celebration and the Veterans Memorial Wall in Johns Creek opens after postponements.

Social distancing and the continued pandemic led Roswell and Milton to cancel their annual Memorial Day events.

Alpharetta will host a virtual tribute  at Brooke Street Park that can be viewed live at 9 a.m. Monday on the city’s YouTube channel. The program includes the reading of four letters written by U.S. service members while serving in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the war in Afghanistan.

Garry McGarry, a U.S. Army Ranger of the 75th Ranger Regiment, will deliver the keynote address. McGarry served during five deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

“While we are observing Memorial Day in a very different way this year due to social distancing, we knew it was important to provide a way for our community to honor the heroes who gave their lives to protect this great nation and the freedoms we all enjoy,” Alpharetta Mayor Jim Gilvin said in a statement. “This year, I hope even more people will have the opportunity to join us virtually for this very special tribute.”

The Veterans Memorial Wall at Newtown Park in Johns Creek opens Friday at sunrise. There will be no formal ceremony held during the weekend.

“The Wall That Heals,” is a 250-foot-long half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The wall bears the names of more than 58,000 service personnel who gave their lives during The Vietnam War and honors the more than 3 million Americans who serve in the U.S. armed forces at that time.

Before arriving in Johns Creek, it was a traveling exhibit of the nonprofit Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund for more than 10 years.

Johns Creek Veterans Association and volunteers added granite panels and spruced up the wall this week. The wall  was vandalized in April and some dent and scrape marks have not yet been repaired, Veterans Association Mike Mizell said.