COVINGTON - There are several opportunities to commemorate Memorial Day in Newton and Rockdale counties this year.
American Legion Post 32 in Covington will host its annual ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday on the Square in downtown Covington. The keynote speaker will be local resident Pat Buchanan, who served for 27 years in the military.
"He is retired Army and was a Green Beret. He served for 27 years and served in Vietnam. He jumped out of a plane and his parachute didn't open and he broke his back," said American Legion Commander Terry Moore of Buchanan, who to this day, walks with cane due to those injuries.
The event will also include the placing of a wreath in the honor of fallen soldiers, the singing of the National Anthem and the posting of the colors by the Junior ROTC of Newton High School.
American Legion Post 77 in Conyers will also host an event open to the public from 11 a.m. to noon at its headquarters at 674 Legion Road NE off Ga. Hwy. 138.
Pete Mecca, who writes a series profiling local veterans for the Citizen, will be the keynote speaker. His speech is entitled "Memorial Day: What Does It Mean To You?"
Mecca is a veteran who served four years in Air Force Intelligence and spent two and a half years in Vietnam. He is on the board of directors for Honor Flight Network in Conyers, the Walk of Heroes in Veterans Memorial Park in Conyers and is a member of several veterans organizations.
"Freedom has never been free. The price has been heavy and the debt owed to our veterans even heavier," Mecca said.
Hot dogs and hamburgers will be served following the event.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5290 in Conyers will not host a Memorial Day event this year. The commander of the Covington VFW Post could not be reached for comment.