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Tallahassee National Cemetery rings bells from newly completed bell tower for first time

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 4:46 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Bells of freedom are now ringing at the Tallahassee National Cemetery in honor of those who fought for it.

On Thursday, AMVET Post 1776 dedicated the newly completed bell tower to the cemetery amongst dozens of veterans and their families.

WCTV was on hand when the tower broke ground back in February.

During Thursday’s ceremony, they said the original plans for the cemetery included space for the tower. It was completed during the pandemic and, now, everyone can come together and appreciate all it stands for.

“We owe our veterans respect and gratitude,” said Bill Killgore, President of AMVETS National Service Foundation. “They have earned by their patriotism, courage and sacrifice, all of us gathered here today are beneficiaries of veterans that we honor.”

Completion of the bell tower took more than half a decade and $100,000 dollars of donations. Its vision started with former post commander Gary Callaway, who passed before it could be completed.

“He had incredible passion in his heart for this,” said Commander Dennis Baker with the Florida Veterans Foundation.

Veterans and their families listened in, some for the first time, like Emily Pulles, the granddaughter of an army veteran.

“He is very good veteran, I can tell,” she said. “I think he did a great job serving inside the army.”

The tower rings during services and songs are requested on behalf of the families of fallen veterans as a special remembrance.

“Every one of these veterans, when they donned that uniform of their country, they were a patriot,” said Major John Haynes, who says sacrifice without remembering is meaningless.

Major Haynes is a veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam and says every day is Memorial Day at Tallahassee National Cemetery.

The bell tower is another way for families to honor the heroes laid there.

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