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Remembering, honoring heroes

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Atmore area veterans of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7016 and the American Legion Post 90, along with area citizens, gathered Saturday for a Memorial Day and Armed Forces Day 2008 Parade.
Next Monday is Memorial Day, which is a time to remember those men and women who have sacrificed their lives in order for America to be what it is today.
According to www.memorialday.org, Memorial Day started as “Decoration Day.” Waterloo, N.Y. became the official birthplace of Memorial Day in May 1966 by President Lyndon Johnson, although there are many cities who claim to have started the national remembrance of fallen heroes.
According to www.defenselink.mil, Armed Forces Day started on Aug. 31, 1949 when the secretary of defense, Louis Johnson, wished to replace separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days. May 20, 1950 was the first combined demonstration by America’s defense teams under Armed Forces Day. The first event was entitled “Teamed for Defense.”
Local veterans, high school bands, ROTC units and emergency personnel, such as fire and police departments, joined Saturday to parade down the streets of Atmore in honor of American heroes.
The parade is not all area Legionnaires, VFW comrades, cadets and scouts are doing for fallen heroes. This Saturday the groups will place flags on the graves of veterans beginning at 7:30 a.m. and will pick up the flags at 7:30 a.m. next Tuesday. The gathering place for the flags will be the American Legion or at Oak Hill Cemetery.