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Veterans mark WWI anniversary

Albany Herald - 11/12/2018

Nov. 12--ALBANY -- There could not have been a more appropriate setting.

Veterans from throughout southwest Georgia met Sunday on the southwestern sidewalk that is part of the Broad Avenue Bridge, a structure that was decommissioned after being condemned and then rebuilt and recommissioned in 2015 and renamed in honor of veterans who have served their country since World War I. The veterans placed a wreath at the bridge's original marker signifying the 100th anniversary of the armistice that brought an end to World Ward I, the "war to end all wars."

At 11:11 a.m. (on 11-11, which is recognized as Veterans Day and was once known as Armistice Day), the local veterans, representing a number of VFW and American Legion organizations as well as other veterans groups, stood solemnly at attention while a single bugler played "Taps." Immediately afterward, seven veterans fired off three volleys each, the traditional 21-gun salute.

"I'm thinking about Marvin Mixon today," VFW Post 30 Commander Dan Brewer said. "(Marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I) is something he wanted to see in his lifetime. He didn't quite make it, but I got a text from his daughter that said, 'Thanks for keeping dad's memory alive.'"

Memories were part of the brief message delivered by SOWEGA Veterans Coalition Chairman Paul Murray during the ceremony.

"Sixty-five million served (in WWI), 100,000 from the state of Georgia," Murray said. "One hundred seventeen thousand who served died. The last surviving veteran in the United States died in February of 2011. He was 110 years old. There are no remaining World War I survivors, so all we have left are memories.

"That's why it's important that we pay tribute to this bridge, which honors all who have served since World War I. And we also pray that God will bless and protect those serving overseas now and protect the families of these brave men and women."


(c)2018 The Albany Herald, Ga.

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