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Cumming pauses to give thanks

Late employee among those whose service is recognized

POSTED: May 25, 2013 12:27 a.m.
Crystal Ledford/

Jana Horton unfurls a flag Friday in memory of her grandfather, Charles S. Horton Jr., during the Avenue of Flags dedication.

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Vic Lindsey’s hand rested for several minutes atop the name plate after he, his sister and brother together unfurled an American flag in honor of their father, Wayne Lindsey.

“It was a great privilege and honor,” Audrey Lindsey Bryan said after dedicating the American flag to her father.

“My dad just passed away three weeks ago so he would have been very proud to receive this.”

The Lindsey family was among those to honor a deceased loved one who served in the military during the city of Cumming’s annual Memorial Day Ceremony on Friday at the Veterans War Memorial.

Each year, the ceremony’s main focus is the Avenue of Flags dedication where new American flags, each in recognition of a deceased veteran who earned the right to a military funeral, are unfurled for the first time.

“Some of the flags are flown for soldiers killed in action, some for those who served in times of war, some for prisoners of war, and still others for those who served in times of peace,” said Richard Knight, who served as master of ceremonies Friday.

“Each banner, lifted gently by the wind, lends an added sanctity to these grounds, a sweet reverence that grows dearer as each new name is called.”

Since 1995, the Avenue of Flags has been growing and now includes 201.

The Lindsey family’s dedication was especially meaningful since Wayne Lindsey, a 33-year employee of the city, had been in charge of placing the flags each year.

Friday’s event was held in honor of Lindsey, who passed away unexpectedly May 4.

His son, Kevin, a Forsyth County firefighter who also works part time for the city, said his father took the job of ensuring the flags were properly set up seriously.

“This was his thing,” he said. “This was the most important job we did working for him, so it was fantastic to be able to come out here and actually honor him … now we’ll make sure his flag is put in the exact right spot every year.”

Mayor H. Ford Gravitt remembered Lindsey fondly during his remarks.

“We could have had no better veteran than one of our own who passed away May 4,” he said. “He was a friend to all of you … Cumming has lost one of our greatest employees and one of the veterans who worked tirelessly for the veterans’ causes.”

Besides the flag inductees, the ceremony also honored all service men and women who served their country in times of war or peace.

“No young man or woman who enters the service of the United States of America has a guarantee of peace or safety,” Knight said. “He or she is sworn to serve at any cost.

“Because of this, we must acknowledge that the commitment made initially and the responsibility accepted is the same regardless of the outcome.”

Added Gravitt: “Thanksgiving is a day when we pause to give thanks for the things we have, but Memorial Day is a day that we pause to give thanks to the people who fought for what we have.”

Military personnel and veterans were also honored with a rifle salute from the fire department and Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard, music from the North Georgia Barbershop Singers and a release of white doves.

 

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