By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News
May 28, 2019
HAHIRA, Ga. (WCTV) -- On Monday, the Hahira American Legion Post 218 helped crowds of community members honor fallen heroes.
The Memorial Day ceremony is a tradition in Hahira that keeps on growing. Dozens of community members joined together to bow their heads and lay down memorial flowers. 'Taps' played out to sing a song for those no longer singing.
The annual ceremony was a chance to remember those we have lost as they risked their lives to defend this country. Speakers took to the podium to remind the community of the names and stories of the past.
Lyman Cole served in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968. Cole is now the commander of Post 218. He said the ceremonies make him think of those he served alongside, many of whom he does not know are alive or not, even after all of these years.
"We would like to give them gratitude and thanks, they're the heroes for the rest of us to be doing what we can do," Cole said. "Fifty-one years ago, but I go on every day, try and stay active and enjoy every day we got, because the light switch, all it does it turn off and that's it."
"When you leave Vietnam, my attitude was, I don't feel right, I'm leaving. You just think, you know you shouldn't have left, you still needed to be there. I guess a lot of them felt that way, too," said Georgia Fiveash, Vietnam veteran and Post 218 member.
Many Vietnam veterans remember coming home from the war, and recall a rough welcoming from citizens. Now, many ceremonies help to make sure that all veterans are honored and appreciated for their service.
"I see this many people out and they're still thinking about us, all of us veterans that have done our part, and I'm glad of that," Cole said.
Organizers said the event continues to attract a bigger crowd every year. They plan to bring back the ceremony next year.