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Flags to mark Memorial Day
Annual ceremony scheduled for Friday
Memorial Day 08 3 es
Susan Youdell shades herself from the sun during the 2008 Memorial Day ceremony in Cumming. - photo by Emily Saunders
At a glance

The annual Memorial Day Ceremonies is set for 11 a.m. Friday at the Veterans War Memorial, 301 Veterans Memorial Blvd. in Cumming.

In the event of rain, a notice will be posted to indicate a new location, though the flying of the flags will be postponed.

Flags will be dedicated to the following:

• U.S. Air Force: Matthew L. Adams
• U.S. Navy: Hiram “Bud” Boles, Benjamin “Grady” Martin and Lewis Beeler Munda
• U.S. Army: Amon L. Corn; Robert Charles Gibson and Robert Morris Gibson; William Homer Gilstrap and Henry Grady Gilstrap; Edsel F. Martin; and Joffree “Bud” Martin
• U.S. Women’s Army Corp: Eva L. Snapp
Ten new flags, each representing one or more military veterans, will join 151 others during the annual Avenue of Flags dedication Friday.

The event is part of the annual Memorial Day Ceremonies, which has become a tradition for many Forsyth County families, said event coordinator Allison Smith.

“To see their veteran’s name there and that flag flying year after year, that’s just very special for the families,” she said. “We have a lot of families who do come back year after year just to see their veteran’s flag flying.”

In addition to the flag dedication, the county’s fire department honor guard will present colors. The ceremony also will feature a 21-gun salute and a fly-by performed by retired U.S. Air Force Col. Kevin C. Coleman.

Debbie Yff, coordinator for the Home of the Brave Quilt Program, will present a special gift to Michael Phillips, whose son U.S. Army Cpl. Matthew Phillips, died July 13 in the eastern Afghanistan province of Kunar.

The 27-year-old was the first Forsyth County soldier killed in combat since the Vietnam War. His father will be presented with a replica Civil War era, memorial quilt in gratitude for his military sacrifice.

Cumming Mayor H. Ford Gravitt said he is humbled and honored that the war memorial continues to be part of the Memorial Day ceremony.

“It means so much to me just to see the veterans who [have] provided for the freedom that we share,” he said. “We need to look up and say thank you every day to every veteran we see. It really shouldn’t be just on Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day.”

E-mail Jennifer Sami at