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National Infantry Museum holds Memorial Day ceremony

Published: Jun. 1, 2021 at 12:23 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Memorial Day celebrations were underway all weekend in the Chattahoochee Valley. Monday, one Fountain City museum honored veterans and remembered them for paying the ultimate sacrifice.

The National Infantry Museum’s Paver Dedication ceremony is just one way some people in the Fountain City spent their Memorial Day.

The museum briefly opened its doors to the public on Monday. The occasion was to commemorate the sacrifices of 160 fallen soldiers.

The engraved granite pavers along the Heritage Walk at the NIM, tell the story of a soldier, a veteran, a friend.

Josh King told News Leader 9 that a few of his fellow soldiers purchased a paver to honor and memorialize his fallen comrades.

“The amount of time we spent together. That bond last several miles and years and years. It’s been 20 to 30 years since I’ve seen a lot of these guys and being able to get together with them knowing that we’re in stone forever means a lot to me and them,” said King.

Maneuver Center of Excellence Command Sergeant Major Derrick Garner was the guest speaker at Monday’s ceremony. He spoke on the sacrifices his soldiers paid. He says that Memorial Day isn’t about cookouts or having a day off. His advice for people observing the holiday is to thank those who help maintain the freedoms we enjoy.

“It’s not about barbeques and playing at the beach and all this other stuff. I means its about remembering those that gave their last full measure for our freedoms. We owe it to them. We owe it their families to honor and remember them. That’s what I think.”, said Garner.

Congressman Sanford Bishop was one of the elected officials to attend the ceremony. “On behalf of a grateful nation, and each and every American, I would say, thank you! We’re grateful for the sacrifices of you and your loved ones. Because we’re the beneficiaries of the freedoms we get to enjoy,” Bishop added.

Guests were allowed to tour the museum until 2p.m. The museum remains closed to the public until Fort Benning’s leadership loosens COVID restrictions.

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