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Honoring veterans
Ceremonies planned in Newton, Rockdale

COVINGTON - Services will be held in Newton and Rockdale counties to commemorate Veterans Day on Sunday.

American Legion Post 32 in Covington will honor fallen soldiers at a 2 p.m. ceremony on the Square in downtown Covington.

Retired Col. Larry Hoff, a 27-year veteran of the United States Air Force, will be the guest speaker.

Hoff was on the first Special Operations Forces team to enter Iraq in search of weapons of mass destruction.

He is chairman of the National Security Council and junior vice commander of the Department of Georgia American Legion.

The ceremony will begin with a prayer offered by the post chaplain and the posting of the colors, followed by the guest speaker and the laying of a wreath at the veterans' monument on the Square.

Jimmy Cronan, commander of American Legion Post 32, encouraged the community to participate in the event.

"It comes down to the words "Freedom is not free,'" Cronan said. "All veterans of all wars, they're the ones responsible for our freedom."

In Rockdale County,

Veterans Day will be commemorated with the unveiling of a bronze sculpture at Veterans Memorial Park at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Created by Georgia artist Jo Fassnacht, the sculpture depicts five soldiers supporting a globe. The large sculpture will be a focal point of the park's entrance

Jim Blaylock, national commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, will be the guest speaker.

"It's an opportunity to recognize on Veterans Day all of the veterans and their family members," said Tommy Clack of the Georgia Department of Veterans Affairs.

Former Rockdale Board of Commissioners Chairman Norman Wheeler said he sees the sculpture's unveiling as a chance to remind everyone about the park. Construction on the project was delayed for a year as status of federal grant funding was clarified.

More money will have to be raised by the Veterans Memorial Park Foundation to complete the park.

Clack reminded everyone, regardless of whether they attend the ceremony, to take time on Veterans Day to say a word of thanks to current and former soldiers.

"If you see somebody in uniform or if you know a veteran or even first responders, they put their lives on the line and you need to tell them thank you," he said.

Staff Reporter Jay Jones contributed to this story.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.