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Veterans hailed for sacrifice, service
veterans day 5 es
Listening to Tuesday's Veterans Day ceremony at the Veterans War Memorial in Cumming are, from left, military veteran Tom Gordy, wife Anna Gordy and mother Caroline Gordy. - photo by Emily Saunders

Suwanee resident Howard Powell joined a crowd of dozens honoring veterans during a ceremony Tuesday at the Veterans War Memorial in Cumming.

But for Powell the observance lasts all week.

"One day is not enough to commemorate the sacrifice men like my grandfather made for this country," he said. "For me, this is veterans week, and that's the way it should be if you think about it."

Powell, whose grandfather served during World War II, took a long lunch break Tuesday so he could attend the ceremony, which featured Cumming Mayor H. Ford Gravitt as well as several veterans and community members.

"All of us here are heirs to what the veterans fought for over the years," Gravitt said. "We've inherited what they fought for ... it's the freedom we share.

"That I can stand here and speak to you today, in a lot of countries that might not be possible."
Phyllis Singleton had similar sentiments.

"I thank God for our veterans," said Singleton, director of the Forsyth County Christian Home Educators. "In times of change, [veterans] are a constant that stands fast on behalf of the United States of America, the greatest nation in the world."

Singleton then introduced Boy Scout Troop 245, Girl Scout Troop 13852 and Christian Fine Arts of Forsyth students, who performed patriotic songs and skits.

Forsyth Central High School's Flash of Crimson band also played at the ceremony.

Retired Col. Ray Drummond of the U.S. Army spoke to the crowd on the origins of Veterans Day.

"It was originally created to commemorate the coming of peace," Drummond said. "It marked the armistice of the first World War.

"On this day, on this month, at this hour our nation remembers the moment when the guns of World War I went silent.

We recognize the service and the sacrifice of our nation's veterans."

Powell said he enjoyed the ceremony "thoroughly."

"They did a fine job," he said, adding that he'd made it a point to get "pumped up" on the drive over from Suwanee.

"I listened to 'Proud to be an American' seven times on the way over," he said. "I can't get enough of that."