The Walk of Heroes Veterans War Memorial at Black Shoals Park in Conyers will host a Veterans Day program beginning at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 11.

This will be the first public event at the memorial since the restoration of "Freedom Watch" was completed in July following its vandalization on Dec. 15, 2017. Thieves broke into the memorial and pulled down two of the five statues. The two statues and globe were loaded onto a trailer, along with bronze plaques from elsewhere at the memorial, and driven away.

Quick work by investigators of the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office resulted in the arrest of three suspects two weeks later, with parts of the stolen items being recovered. The suspects were sentenced to jail in 2018 and 2019.

Almost immediately after the vandalism, the Walk of Heroes began a fundraising effort to raise the money needed to recast the centerpiece, with numerous organizations and hundreds of individuals making donations to the cause.

Two years and seven months later, everything is back where it should be. On July 6, members of the Walk of Heroes Board of Directors unveiled the restored bronze centerpiece of five soldiers holding up a globe, called “Freedom Watch.”

Keynote speaker for the Veterans Day program will be Mike Roby, Georgia Commissioner of Veterans Services. Everyone is invited to attend and masks are encouraged.

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Senior Reporter

Born and raised in Decatur, Ga. Graduated from Shorter College in Rome, Ga. in 1979 with B.A. in Communications. Worked in community newspapers for 26 years. Started at Rockdale Citizen/Newton Citizen in January 2016.

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