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Salute to freedom
City observes Memorial Day with ceremony
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The newly unfurled flags join the others already flying along the Avenue of Flags. - photo by Jim Dean
At a glance

This year's flags were 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
Veterans and their family members gathered Friday for Cumming's annual Memorial Day Ceremonies and Avenue of Flags Dedication at the Veterans War Memorial.

Mayor H. Ford Gravitt began the event with words of appreciation.

"It's a great honor to be here to support these veterans," Gravitt said. "If it wasn't for them serving our country, we wouldn't be able to freely fly these flags you see out here today."

Debbie Yff, coordinator for the Home of the Brave Quilt Program, presented a quilt to the family of late U.S. Army Cpl. Matthew Phillips, 27, who was killed July 13 in the eastern Afghanistan province of Kunar.

Gravitt acknowledged the sacrifice made by soldiers like Phillips.

"As every soldier knows, when they serve in the military, there's no guarantee of peace or safety," Gravitt said.

This year's event featured 10 new flags, each representing one or more military veterans. The flags joined 151 others during the ceremony.

Forsyth County resident Robert Anderson said it was his second year coming to the event.

"I think it's important for a community like Forsyth to kind of take a step back and think about the sacrifice that veterans have made," Anderson said.

E-mail Frank Reddy at