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24-hour vigil honors veterans

POSTED: May 28, 2013 12:41 a.m.
SCOTT ROGERS/The Times

Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch makes remarks during a Memorial Day ceremony Monday afternoon in the veterans' section of Memorial Park Cemetery. Members of the Hall County Sheriff's Office and the Gainesville Police Department, along with the Army National Guard, stood vigil at the site for 24 hours.

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Honor Guards of the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, Gainesville Police Department and Georgia Army National Guard conducted a 24-hour vigil Monday at Memorial Park Cemetery in Gainesville to honor veterans.

The 24-hour vigil was similar to what is done at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. The Honor Guard deputies replicate the exact maneuvers done at Arlington, down to the same number of footsteps, said sheriff’s office spokesman Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks.

The changing of the guard occurred every 45 minutes from midnight to noon Monday, and then every 30 minutes until 6 p.m. The guards then went back to changing every 45 minutes until the end of the vigil.

Sheriff Gerald Couch spoke during a brief ceremony at noon Monday, when he read the official declaration for Memorial Day from 1868.



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