Memorial Day observed with three services

COVINGTON - Three services commemorating Memorial Day will be held Monday in Newton and Rockdale counties, and organizers are urging the public to attend and honor those who have given their lives while serving in the military.

"I think it's important, because our soldiers over the years died for our freedom. The least we can do is, one day out of the year, show our appreciation for it. Their families live with it each and every day of their lives," said Jack Murphy, commander of American Legion Post 77 in Conyers.

The post will hold an 11 a.m. service Monday just outside its headquarters at 674 Legion Road N.E.

An honor guard, 21-gun salute and wreath-laying ceremony are all part of the program. Korean War veteran Don Joyner will be the keynote speaker, and Georgia Country Music Hall of Fame member Ron Lovin will perform several songs.

A luncheon will follow the event.

In Newton County, VFW Post 2938 and Ladies Auxiliary will hold their annual Memorial Day service at 9 a.m. at Lawnwood Cemetery on the Access Road.

The service will include several short speeches, the playing of "Taps" and the singing of "God Bless America," Commander Michael French said.

French encouraged residents to take time out of their busy schedules and attend "to remember all the veterans and the veterans that have passed away.

"Even service members that have been in service that didn't go overseas or anything like that, I believe they also should be honored. Even though they weren't in combat, they did serve their country," French said.

Finally, members of Covington American Legion Post 32 will convene for a 10 a.m. service on the Square in downtown Covington. Following prayer and music, state Sen. John Douglas, R-Social Circle, a retired U.S. Army officer, will speak. Post members will continue their tradition of placing a wreath at the veterans' monument in the Square park, said Regina Cronan, a member of the post's Ladies Auxiliary.

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