May 16, 2021

Town of Centralhatchee honors local Vets at Park Monument

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(Centralhatchee, GA) — A big crowd assembled near the Veterans Memorial at Centralhatchee Park Saturday morning for a very special Veterans Day celebration.

The program featured a large assembly of Veterans, the Heard High School Chorus, and keynote speaker B.T. McCutchen, Jr. (Retired) Col USA/AV MI.

The event kicked off with a welcome from Centralhatchee Mayor Barbie Crockett, the raising of the United Sates Flag and and POW/MIA flag by the Centralhatchee Elementary School Braves Flag Patrol, and an opening prayer by James Stewart Chapter DAR Chaplain Jane Davis Barker.

Young members of the Braves Flag Patrol included Kadence Vadovsky, Stephanie Thomaston, Gunner Copeland, and Preston Crockett.

The beautiful Centralhatchee Veteran’s Monument is located in the middle of the city park and features a sitting area, flags, and engraved benches honoring those who served in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marines.

Following the Laying of the Wreath by Mr. Larry Denney and Mr. Ryan Kohles, members of the HCHS Chorus directed by Mrs. Nancy Heard performed the National Anthem.

Centralhatchee council member Walt Wiggins then led the assembly in the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance and CES teacher and Flag Patrol coordinator Tracey Hunt read the American’s Creed.

Next up in the program Durrell Langley, Adjutant of Heard County American Legion Post 148, introduced B.T. (Tom) McCutcheon, Jr. (Retired) to the assembly.

McCutcheon spoke to those in attendance and then shared an excerpt from a Veterans Day speech the President Ronald Reagan delivered at Arlington National Cemetery in 1985.

“We are gathered at the National Cemetery, which provides a final resting place for the heroes who have defended our country since the Civil War. This amphitheater, this place for speeches, is more central to this cemetery than it first might seem apparent, for all we can ever do for our heroes is remember them and remember what they did — and memories are transmitted through words. Sometime back I received in the name of our country the bodies of four marines who had died while on active duty. I said then that there is a special sadness that accompanies the death of a serviceman, for we’re never quite good enough to them-not really; we can’t be, because what they gave us is beyond our powers to repay. And so, when a serviceman dies, it’s a tear in the fabric, a break in the whole, and all we can do is remember. It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country, in defense of us, in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray haired. But most of them were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives — the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for our country, for us. And all we can do is remember.” – President Ronald Reagan

Following the Veteran Roll Call, HCHS Marching Brave trumpet player Daniel Burgos performed a moving rendition of “TAPS,” and to close out the program Natalie Moncus sang “God Bless America.”

After the event, Veterans were invited to the Centralhatchee Community Center for a special brunch courtesy of the local DAR members.

Mayor Barbie Crockett was very pleased with the program and thankful to the many that helped make it possible.

“The one thing I can tell you is that when we start planning this it is just amazing at the community help we have,” said Mayor Crockett after the event. “We have been working with the American Legion, but this is the first year we have joined with the DAR. It’s one of those projects that you can’t just say it is for the Town of Centralhatchee — it is for all of Heard County.”

American Legion Post 148 Adjutant Langley was very pleased and honored by the celebration of local Veterans.

“Today was just flat out amazing. I had no idea that Tom (B.T.) could deliver a speech like he did — it was inspiring to everyone here,” Langley stated. “The Town of Centralhatchee, the fine ladies with the James Stewart DAR Chapter and the American Legion couldn’t have done anything better than what happened today.”


  1. Roberta Duncan says

    As the wife of a veteran I would like to give a big shout-out to the city of Centralhatchee for the wonderful Veterans Celebration at our beautiful Memorial in city park. It was an amazing program, with many participants, followed by a wonderful brunch provided by the DAR Thank you seems so little but it comes from the heart.

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