Today Governor Sonny Perdue hosted a Memorial Day service on behalf of the State of Georgia honoring the members of the armed forces who have given their lives in service to the nation. The service was held at Mount Paran Church of God in Atlanta.
“As a grateful state and nation, we shall never forget the price they paid so that we may call ourselves free,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “Let us rejoice that there are still men and women of honor who will fight for a cause greater than themselves. And let us be thankful that there are families who understand that their loved one was truly a hero to us all.”
Lt. General Russel Honoré, United States Army (Retired) delivered the keynote address at the service. Lt. General Honoré urged Americans to remember and observe the true meaning of Memorial Day. He also called for better benefits for veterans and the families of fallen soldiers in recognition of the sacrifices they have made for the United States.
“We fight because we believe, not that war is good, but that sometimes it is necessary,” said Lt. General Honoré. “Our soldiers fight and die, not for the glory of war, but for the prize of freedom.”
A solemn tribute was offered for the 137 Georgia service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice and fallen on the field of battle in Iraq and Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. A representative from each branch of the military read the names of Georgia’s fallen service members and a photographic tribute was shown.
The ceremony was open to the public and will be televised on Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) on Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 7:30 p.m. The program is titled “A Tribute to Georgia’s Heroes,” and Michael Britt served as the executive producer.
In recognition of the sacrifice made by fallen service members throughout Georgia’s history and their families, Governor Perdue ordered that flags on all state buildings and grounds be lowered on Saturday, May 24, 2008, and remain at half-staff until Noon on Monday, May 26, 2008. The text of Governor Perdue’s executive order is below:
Flags on State Buildings and Grounds Order Lowered to Half Staff
Whereas: On Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, 2008, the citizens of this great nation will once again join together in celebrating the courageous and dedicated servicemen and women who have answered the call to defend America’s freedom; and
Whereas: We, a nation of proud Americans, pay tribute to the bravery and dedication of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in their efforts to protect, preserve, and defend the lives and rights of all the people of the United States of America; and
Whereas: In addition to honoring the heroes of the past, this year we also pay special tribute to some of our fellow Georgians -- the soldiers, Marines, sailors, and airmen -- who have fallen in Afghanistan and Iraq during operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom; and
Whereas: As a thankful nation, we will forever be indebted to those who faithfully and honorably served, and unselfishly laid down their lives, to protect our unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Now, therefore, in honor and as a mark of respect for the memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation, pursuant to the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Georgia, it is hereby
Ordered: That during the weekend immediately preceding Memorial Day, (May 24 and 25) the flag of the United States and the flag of this state shall be flown at half-staff on all state buildings and grounds.
It is further
Ordered: That on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, 2008, in conjunction with the Proclamation of the President of the United States of America, the flag of the United States and the flag of this state shall be flown at half-staff on all state buildings and grounds until noon.
This 22nd day of May, 2008.