CONYERS -- The message delivered by Tommy Clack was basic during Friday's Veterans Day program at the Walk of Heroes in Black Shoals Park. He urged people to thank a veteran, support them and never forget the service they provided to their country.
Clack, chairman of the Walk of Heroes Foundation, provided the keynote address at the annual event held at the memorial. Flags of each branch of the armed forces and of the United States and state of Georgia flew above the stage during the a crisp fall day as residents heard patriotic music and recognition of veterans and families of current service men and women.
A Vietnam veteran who lost three limbs during the war, Clack said, "The World War II generation is referred to as 'The Greatest Generation,' but I share with you that I think that every generation of men and women who put on the uniform of this country, go off to do the bidding of our government, serve in harm's way with the idea that they could sacrifice their lives are also a great generation each time," he said.
The event was also an opportunity to unveil the naming of the road leading up to the Walk of Heroes Bud Sosebee Veterans Parkway, in honor of the memorial's chairman emeritus.
Sosebee, a World War II veteran, was dressed in his U.S. Army uniform and clearly taken by the honor. Sosebee is a leading supporter of the Walk of Heroes from his time as a county commissioner until today.
"This is going to be the biggest park (honoring veterans) in the United States in Rockdale County!" he said. "That's going to bring people in. They're going to buy stuff and help us pay our taxes ... This park will be something to be proud of by all of us."
The Walk of Heroes memorial has a gateway and stage area already completed. The park will have two walkways between those two landmarks. On one side, plans are to construct a series of conclaves specific to the five major wars of the 20th century and the ongoing war on terrorism.
The other walkway will hold images and other displays highlighting the Warfront and Homefront and show the service and sacrifice during war of those two areas.
Plans also include a conference center and museum. Funds to help pay for the estimated $28 million it will take to complete the memorial will come from the sale of memorial pavers.
For more information about the Walk of Heroes memorial, go to www.walkofhearoes.org.