Senoia rocks on Memorial Day

It was the perfect occasion for flag-waving during the parade at the annual Senoia Memorial Day event that runs each year from morning until night. These kids were among the thousands that lined Main Street to see nearly 70 parade entries pass by. Photo/Ben Nelms

One has to look no further than Senoia to find a massive celebration each Memorial Day. That was the case again this year when thousands of people converged on the downtown area for the festivities that began Monday morning and ended after sunset.

As usual, the center of the day’s event was downtown at Main Street and Seavy Street where the stage and speakers were positioned. And those events began at 10:30 a.m. with a performance by the Georgia Dolls Baton Twirlers and was followed with songs from 15 year-old Krysta Nick.

At noon the blue skies over Senoia wee filled with flyovers by pilot Cliff Atkins, Sr., in his North American T-28-D that was used as a jet trainer until 1954. The days events proceeded with colors presented by the Peachtree City Civil Air Patrol and Music Alive singing their rendition of the Pledge of Allegiance.

The invocation was given by Wellspring Church pastor Scott McInnis who then read the names of local World War II veterans who died since the 2011 event and the names of fallen soldiers from Coweta County and surrounding areas who died during the past year in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The keynote speaker for the Memorial Day event was Col. Brent Bracewell, Joint Staff Director for the Ga. National Guard. The activities continued with more musical performances from Music Alive, bagpiper Michael Scott and Krysta Nick.

Then came 2 p.m. and the parade that has become the city’s annual symbol of Memorial Day. The parade featured 69 entries from Senoia, Coweta County and surrounding areas. And, as usual, a virtual sea of people crowded the parade route along Main Street to take in the colorful sights.

Then at 3 p.m., the downtown area went completely silent as the throng paid their respects during the National Moment of Silence. The hush in the crowd was later broken as the Sons of Confederate Veterans split the warm afternoon air with a 21-gun salute provided by muskets and cannon. The display was followed by members of the 116th Army Band playing “Echo Taps.”

Supplementing the activities throughout the day were a host of arts and crafts vendors and a variety of opportunities to chow down on a sidewalk meal or sit down for an extended meal at one of the city’s restaurants.

The day’s events culminated at sunset with with fireworks at Marimac Lakes Park on Pylant Street.

All said, Memorial Day in Senoia is much more than an annual event. It’s more like a spirit of patriotism that fills the city, a spirit of remembrance that calls across the years to have those who served this nation be recognized and appreciated.

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Colors presentation and other information

John Caldwell, Jesse Nieto, Ernie Menet and Thomas Coursey from the Sgt. Clyde Thomason, MOH (Medal of Honor) Marine Corps League Detachment #1325 presented the colors and retired the colors during the ceremony. Fifteen Marines from the Detachment led the parade.

Three WWII Veterans, Donald Roberts, Robert Machen and Paul Deverick, from Sgt. Clyde Thomason, MOH (Medal of Honor) Marine Corps League Detachment #1325 were also honored to ride in the parade.

Lieutenant Colonel James Ruvalcaba was the keynote speaker for the event. He had the crowd's attention as he shared his experiences of flying Cobras over Iraq as well as his accounts of fellow Marines that paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

Thank you to these men, and ALL the men and women who ever wore a United States military uniform to keep us safe!

If you are a Marine, past or present, visit Sgt. Clyde Thomason, MOH (Medal of Honor) Marine Corps League Detachment #1325 at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sgt-Clyde-Thomason-MOH-Marine-Corps-Leagu...

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