New memorial to U.S. troops - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New memorial to U.S. troops

Bainbridge- Friday morning in a ceremony at the National Guard Armory in Bainbridge, the city planted a Ginkgo tree for each war the U.S. has participated in.

     It's an honor for veterans and current troops alike. "It's always good to show support," says Vietnam war veteran and VFW Commander Hill Yates. The planting of Ginkgo trees this morning is a symbol, that much like U-S forces past and present, will not falter. "They're known as bearers of hope. And we're hoping for world peace," says Army sergeant Susan Bell.

     But they will also serve as reminders, reminders of veterans who fought and died so far from home. "It helps to remind people of the people who have come before. And the people who are still serving to protect our freedoms," says Bell. People like Yates. I just feel good to wake up in the mornings. There were many a time over there I didn't think I was going to wake up," he says.

     Thousands of U.S. troops didn't wake up. That's why Hill says it's so important to teach the children at today's ceremony about respecting veterans and what they've been through when they return home. "Back when I left to go to Vietnam, I came home, people around here thought I'd just gone off to school. They didn't even know I'd been to war," says Yates.

     But that respect Yates feels so strongly about was driven home this morning, especially among the older students who participated in the ceremony. "It's a very large honor to do this for veterans like them who have fought, and many of them have died or been wounded in battle," says Bainbridge High School AFJROTC cadet Christopher Good.

     The Ginkgo tree has been adopted by the United Nations as a symbol of hope for world peace.

Posted at 4:56 PM by stephen.ryan@walb.com