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Veterans to be honored

POSTED: May 24, 2012 3:06 p.m.

Dawson County residents are invited to attend the annual Memorial Day service at noon Monday at Veterans Memorial Park.

The event is scheduled to feature the changing of the flags and a speech by keynote speaker and retired Col. Patricia Zaudtke of Lumpkin County.

Pam Hamalainen, president of the Veterans Affairs of Dawson County, said the annual gathering is of great importance.

"This is not just a three day weekend, it's a day to honor and respect those who have given it all," Hamalainen said.

Originally known as Decoration Day to memorialize soldiers killed in the Civil War, Memorial Day was first observed as a national holiday in 1971.

A memorial wall at the park has paid tribute for more than two decades to veterans killed in service.

"This year we are paying tribute to our women veterans and active duty soldiers because they have not received the recognition they deserve," Hamalainen said.

Vietnam Veteran Debbie Gilliam will read the names from the memorial wall and Dawson County resident Wayne Watkins will act as the Master of Services.

For more information on the service, call (706) 265-6278. Veterans Memorial Park is located at 186 Recreation Road off Highway 9 North.

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