Memorial Day is one of the biggest days of the year for American military veterans, and it was no different for members of VFW 7764 in Reidsville on Friday morning when ten veterans and eleven local volunteers met at the Tattnall County Court House to post flags for the 2022 Memorial Day observance.
VFW Quartermaster Ronnie Thomas observed that it was a near record turnout for participation and the flags were posted in record time. That record could be largely attributed to Assistant Scoutmaster Jerry English who brought eight volunteers from Collins Mobile Homes to help with the project. English called Sunday afternoon to say he was bringing two or three to help, and the total turned out to be 9 counting himself.
Additionally, former SSgt. Danny Harvey, a 25-year veteran of the Georgia National Guard and is often present when flags are posted, showed up once again to help. Casey Corbett and her daughter, Coa, were present representing the VFW 7764 Auxiliary. It was a festive atmosphere as always and participants enjoyed those first moments when all flags were posted and began to wave in the light breezes.
On Saturday morning, six members of VFW 7764 and two Auxiliary members showed up at the Georgia Veterans Memorial Cemetery to post flags in front of veterans. English brought some of his co-workers from Collins Mobile Homes and lightened the load considerably on a typically warm and humid Saturday morning in late May.
On Monday afternoon, about 36 individuals gathered at the Tattnall County Liberty Bell at the entrance to the Tattnall County Veterans Memorial Park a little after 5 p.m. for a bell ringing service to remember those military service members that died during service to their country which was planned for 7:15 p.m. A thunderstorm was located at 5:15 p.m. in the vicinity with heavy rain and some lightning. It became obvious that there would likely be very little public participation due to the potential for rain and the presence of lightning. It was decided to carry out an abbreviated program at 6:15 p.m. in the event that more pop-up showers occurred in order to get the Memorial Day program completed.
The program included a welcome and description of the program by VFW Commander Ronnie McCall, invocation by Reverend 7764 Chaplin William Prince, and National Anthem by Adjutant Billy Morgan. Senior Vice Commander Bobby Kennedy recited the names of the WW I Tattnall County casualties, Quartermaster Ronnie Thomas recited the WW II casualties, Billy Morgan recited Korean War casualties, and 7764 Third Year Post Trustee Bruce Sanders recited Vietnam War casualties. Although there were no Tattnall County Middle Eastern War casualties, Service Officer Gina Hall asked for a moment of silence for those killed throughout the nation. Junior Vice Commander Wayne Campbell rang the Liberty Bell once for each name recited and three times for the U.S. casualties in the Middle Eastern Wars. First Year Post Trustee Don Bentley called the Honor Guard to attend and gave the “Present Arms” command before the names of those who died in each war were recited.
At the end of the bell ringing ceremony, the group sang God Bless the USA and Auxiliary Chaplin Linda Prince provided the benediction. Ken Tatum played “Taps” to end the event.
The number of members, auxiliary, Boy Scouts, and supporters present in unstable weather conditions provide a strong statement of support by those who honor those that died during military service to the United States of America.