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Lula opens Veterans Park to honor sacrifices
Lula unveiled its new veterans park on Tuesday. The park is on Main Street across from the railroad crossing. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

The city of Lula celebrated the opening of its Veterans Park with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday morning.

The new park is located on Main Street across from the railroad crossing and features an interactive fountain and bricks that can be inscribed with the names of veterans.

Hundreds of community members attended the ceremony, which celebrated the vision of the city along with the sacrifice veterans of all wars have made.

People gathered in the unseasonably cool weather at the center of town, which was decorated with American flags for the occasion.

"It is such an honor to come out here and honor our veterans," said Lula Mayor Milton Turner.

Veterans from as early as World War II, including Lula City Councilman Mordecai Wilson, up to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were present.

The Vietnam Veterans Chapter 772 presented the colors for the ceremony.

The program included speeches from local politicians including members of the Hall County Board of Commissioners as well as state Sen. Lee Hawkins and state Rep. Doug Collins.

Collins, who returned from military service in Iraq this year, said the park holds special meaning for him.

"I want to say publicly ‘thank you’ to this city and this community for the support you showed me when I was in Iraq," Collins said. "I thank this city for thinking about the veterans and those who serve there."

Hawkins pointed out the sacrifices Lula residents have made to protect the country. Maj. Kevin Jenrette was killed in Afghanistan just last month, while the Lula post office now bears the name of Army Pfc. Johnathon Millican, who was killed by a grenade in Iraq in 2007.

"This community has lost two of its favorite sons," Hawkins said.

The Veterans Park is the first step in revitalizing Lula. A downtown streetscape is in the works.