Following his presentation at the American Legion’s Carl Boyd Post 42 program Monday at 11 a.m., he will join State Sen. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, for the Vietnam Veterans of Bartow County’s public offering. Currently in the Georgia Air National Guard, Coomer previously served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General for four years and the Air Force Reserve.
“I will be talking about patriotism and service to others and service to ideals that are higher than ourselves,” said Coomer, regarding the American Legion program. “In particular, I’m going to be talking about the concept of loyalty to the ideals of the Constitution as opposed to loyalty to simply a place or a geographic location and that the United States is a nation of laws, and we are an idea and we embody the ideal concepts of self-governance. And that’s really what our war heroes who have fallen were fighting for is to maintain that sense of a place of freedom that’s not necessarily a geographical place but a place of idealism.”
The Legionnaires will host the program adjacent to their flagpole at 1 Roosevelt St., Cartersville, off Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Along with Coomer’s address, the observance also will recognize the five branches of service and Post 42’s Color Guard will perform rifle volleys and taps.
“Like other patriotic holidays, Memorial Day does play a great significance in remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Post 42 Commander Dale Cockrill, who served in the U.S. Navy from July 1967 to October 1970. “I think just about every veteran knows someone who has done that, has made the ultimate sacrifice. I know I sure do and I know others that I’m familiar with, my colleagues, know someone who gave their life for America. It’s just a great way to honor those who have paid the price.
“The whole [program’s] atmosphere, it’s a very reverent-type ceremony. It’s one of reflection.”
Also on Monday, the Vietnam Veterans of Bartow County’s candlelight 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.
“What we’re going to do this year is we’re going to read the names of every person who’s engraved on the monument,” said Bob Poston, commander of the Vietnam Veterans of Bartow County. “Then we’ll ring a bell when each name is read.
“And we want to invite any of the relatives of the folks that are on the [Walk of Honor] from any of the wars, [such as] World War II, Korea, Vietnam and any of the new [conflicts],” he said, adding relatives of the deceased veterans should speak with him prior to the service for their loved one’s name to be included. “... We felt that if you give your life, the least we could do would be to remember you by acknowledging what you did for our country.”
After the 7:30 p.m. candlelight ceremony, the public will be able 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 are available at www.lzhome.org.
For more information about the evening observance or the Walk of Honor, individuals can call Poston at 678-986-1702. To obtain more details about the American Legion’s program, contact Post 42 at 770-382-9150.