Memorial Day observed in Atlanta
By John Dilmore
Representatives of local veterans groups and the general public crowded the War Memorial in downtown Atlanta on Monday at midday to commemorate with a Memorial Day ceremony those who paid the ultimate price defending America’s freedoms.
Pastor of First Baptist Church of Queen City Jim Looby was the featured speaker at the event. Looby has long served veterans and worked as an advocate for veterans’ causes. Looby’s father is a retired Navy and Air Force chaplain, and he also has a brother who served in the Navy.
Looby spoke on a number of topics, including the dedication and sacrifice of military families.
“I did not have the privilege of serving, but I did have the honor of supporting,” Looby said. “My father served for 25 years, both in the Air Force and in the Navy, as a chaplain. I remember my father often quoting John 15:13 … ‘Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’ That’s in a very real way what we celebrate and mark ... today.”
Students from Atlanta Elementary School performed patriotic songs, and a flag ceremony was conducted during which both the American flag and POW/MIA flags that have been on display were replaced with new flags.
Mike Lee, American Legion Post 258 member, served as emcee of the event and spoke on the significance of the POW/MIA flag.
“The American Legion is committed to achieving a full accounting of all POWs, MIAs from not only the Gulf War … the Vietnam War, the Cold War, the Korean War and World War II,” Lee said.
An empty chair is designated at all American Legion gatherings as a physical symbol of POWs and MIAs unaccounted for from past conflicts involving the U.S.