"It's actually to remember all of our fallen veterans and to let everybody know that we don't forget them, that we still remember them. And we have this program to keep [them] in everybody's mind," said Temples, who served with the Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade from 1967 to 1969. "For me [the most touching part is] when they play taps. That usually gets everybody. It's a little too much [to take]. [Personally] it brings back memories of some of the guys that died in Vietnam that I knew [and] actually some World War II veterans that are still passing that I've known [and] Korean [War] veterans and even up till today in the Gulf War.
"[Through the service I want the public to] remember the people that have actually served this country as veterans. A lot of people serve in a lot of ways. You don't have to be in the military to serve this country but our focus is on veterans. [It is important] just to remember what they sacrificed and what they've done," he said, adding in honor of Memorial Day, American Legion members also are going to be treated to lunch at Post 42 today at noon. Provided by Antonino's Italian Grotto, the meal is being hosted by Heartland Hospice, in partnership with Louise Parrott with Floyd Home Care and Linda Gale Jones at Autumn Years.
To be held at the post on 42 Roosevelt St. in Cartersville, Monday's public service will start at 11 a.m. with an invocation by the organization's chaplain Willie Cabe. The observance also will consist of the posting of the colors by the Cass High School JROTC and Post 42, a wreath laying ceremony by the Ladies Auxiliary and an address by Bobby Gayton, pastor of Cartersville Church of Christ. After recognizing the U.S. military's five branches, the program will close with a rifle volley, taps and everyone will join to sing "God Bless America." Complimentary hot dogs and hamburgers will be served after the program.
Also open to the public, the Vietnam Veterans of Bartow County's service will take place in front of the veterans memorial -- on the grounds of the Frank Moore Administration and Judicial Center, 135 W. Cherokee Ave. in Cartersville. After the 8 p.m. candlelight ceremony, the public will be to view a completed portion of the brick Walk of Honor.
Coordinated by the Vietnam Veterans of Bartow County, the brick offering runs parallel to the government building's sidewalk and highlights all veterans, not limited to Bartow County residents. For $50, individuals can take part in this memorial, purchasing a brick inscribed with three lines of information: the military personnel's name; rank and branch; and years and location of service. In addition to Monday's program, forms will be available at www.lzhome.org or the Vietnam Veterans of Bartow County's office, 320 W. Cherokee Ave. in Cartersville.
With nearly 500 bricks already installed, more than 1,000 bricks still are available. Seeing the public's support of this effort has been a rewarding experience, said the Vietnam Veterans of Bartow County's commander, Bob Poston.
"It's encouraging to me to know that people actually care. As you know during the Vietnam War, there were a lot of protesters and a lot of dissent and actually some animosity toward veterans -- toward those serving -- and that does not seem to be the case today," Poston said. "It's encouraging and makes me feel good about the country appreciating that we're laying down our lives for them, [for] our freedom."
Needing money to install the bricks, he said the project recently was bolstered by a $400 donation from the Cass High JROTC.
"They collected money in front of Walmart," Poston said. "That's to help us with two things, with the cost of laying the bricks and placing the seals -- the military seal of [each] branch of service -- that ... will be laid in the center of the walk.
"They [also] want us to make sure that each veteran that has served, whether it's in combat or not, if they're homeless then there's no charge for the brick. They want us to buy the brick for the homeless veterans and to assist financially strapped people that would like to honor [loved ones] like their mother [or] father."
For more information about the evening observance or the Walk of Honor, individuals can call Poston at 678-986-1702.