Valdosta gathers to celebrate Memorial Day - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta gathers to celebrate Memorial Day

Phil Youngblood Phil Youngblood
Tommy Strom Tommy Strom
VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

The American Legion post in Valdosta gathered to honor military members on this Memorial Day.

The ceremony and Memorial Day are especially meaningful for Valdosta and the surrounding area, given it's large military population.

A multi-gun salute by Civil War reenactors was just one of the ways the American Legion post honored current and former military members during a Memorial day ceremony at Sunset Hill Cemetery in Valdosta.

"Memorial Day is kind of the culmination to recognize what a veteran does," said Former Georgia State American Legion Commander Phil Youngblood.

And with Moody Air Force Base being such a big part of Valdosta and the surrounding area, there are a large number of veterans as well as active duty military members in the community, making Monday's ceremony all the more important.

"A lot of people don't understand that probably 30 percent of the folks that they run across in Walmart or in Publix, that they're active duty service members; they are protecting our country," said Youngblood.

Tommy strom was one of the reenactors at today's ceremony. He says, as a veteran himself, seeing the flags placed on the graves on Memorial day of past service men and women are an emotional reminder of what today is all about.

"You walk around and look at it," said Strom. "If it doesn't stir ya' inside, there's somethin' wrong."

He says he's proud to be part of the ceremony every year, but wishes people would express the same honor and celebration that the ceremony represents all year and not just on Memorial Day.

"Makes me sad that they don't think of 'em every day."

And unfortunately, he doesn't see that changing any time soon.

Copyright 2014 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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