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Letter: Helen to dedicate new park as a fitting tribute to US veterans
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Ray Shubert, U.S. Army veteran, holds his hand over his heart during the playing of 'God Bless America' during a Veterans Day event at Lakewood Baptist Church in Gainesville, on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. - photo by David Barnes

The city of Helen is to be commended for creating a magnificent Veterans Park which honors past, present and future men and women of America’s armed forces and memorializes White County’s highest decorated soldier, Pvt. Rondall H. Glaze. Pvt. Glaze was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest award for valor, for his extraordinary acts of heroism during World War II. 

The Veterans Park represents a focal point for remembering both Pvt. Glaze and the other selfless service members and their families throughout the year, and particularly on special occasions such as Veterans Day and Memorial Day. The sacrifices made by so many for the freedoms we all enjoy must be remembered and honored, and our community’s Veterans Park will help us do that. 

The park will serve as a historical touchstone, linking the past to the present, thus encouraging people to remember and respect the contributions of those who served, fought or died for our country. This park will also help our young people understand and appreciate the sacrifices made by past generations. This memorial is especially meaningful to me as a veteran who proudly served in the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Gulf War.

The park’s dedication is scheduled for noon Saturday, May 19, Armed Forces Day. May is National Military Appreciation Month, a most appropriate month for dedicating the Veterans Park and a time for all to honor, remember, recognize and appreciate those who have served in the past and those now serving, as well as their families. 

We are all to be reminded that since Sept. 11, 2001, 2.5 million of our nation’s young have served in Iraq and Afghanistan wars, many having served multiple deployments, survived injury that would have been fatal in earlier conflicts and now must cope with difficult health challenges.

Ron Hill

Sautee Nacoochee

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