Augusta cemetery honors vets with bronze statue

  • Follow Metro

Thousands of flags adorn the graves of fallen heroes at Hillcrest Memorial Park every year, but flags are only temporary.

Back | Next
Hillcrest Memorial Park maintenance supervisor Melvin Taylor cleans the bronze statue in the veterans' section. Today, American Legion Post 178 will dedicate the memorial, which was funded by donations. 
  John Curry/Staff
John Curry/Staff
Hillcrest Memorial Park maintenance supervisor Melvin Taylor cleans the bronze statue in the veterans' section. Today, American Legion Post 178 will dedicate the memorial, which was funded by donations.

"This is going to stand out," Bob Caruso said of the statue being dedicated today.

After two months of taking donations, American Legion Post 178 had enough to purchase the bronze statue that will greet those who enter the veterans' section at Hillcrest.

"More and more people are seeing after 9/11 that you can't forget," said Caruso, the chairman of the Memorial Day ceremony. "Our veterans are dying more and more every day."

Legionnaires chose the symbols commonly used when a soldier dies in battle for the statue: an M-16 rifle, boots, goggles, helmet and dog tags. It stands 31/2 feet tall on a granite pedestal.

"To me, it's a symbol that they're not forgotten," Caruso said. "Freedom is not free, and freedom is being fought for every day."

Donations for the $5,000 memorial came from local businesses and families.

Post 178 will continue its 30-year tradition of placing flags at Hillcrest, and it has added Mount Olive and Mount Lebanon cemeteries this year. Legionnaires prepared 4,000 flags for Hillcrest and 800 for Mount Olive and Mount Lebanon.

"Each individual will get a flag every year," said Caruso, who has been part of the tradition for 21 years. "It's not just the ones in the veterans' section, but the ones throughout the whole cemetery.

"When you turn around at the end of the day, you see flags all over the place."

Members will be traveling to private cemeteries throughout Georgia and South Carolina to place additional flags.

If you go

WHEN: Flag placement, 7 a.m. today; memorial service, 9 a.m.

WHERE: Hillcrest Memorial Park, 2700 Deans Bridge Road

OF NOTE: Col. Laurence Mixon, the commander of the 513th Military Intelligence Brigade at Fort Gordon, will speak.

Comments (11) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 05/29/10 - 09:31 am
0
0
I have repeatedly seen

I have repeatedly seen pictures of U.S. soldiers in Iraq kneeling before a makeshift alter made of a fallen soldier's boots, rifle, and helmet. I understand that these soldiers are "voluntarily" paying respect to their fallen comrades. However, it does smack of idolatry in the sense that this could be interpreted as bowing down to man-made, false idols. Is there a possibility that are mistakenly honoring war instead of honoring God into whose hands war's casualties fall?

Casting_Fool
1121
Points
Casting_Fool 05/29/10 - 09:53 am
0
0
In order to be considered an

In order to be considered an idol, it would have to be treated as if it were a god and be worshiped. People would have to be of the mind that it could respond to their prayers, etc.. There are many things in the world today that are used to represent God (Jehovah) or people who served God in some aspect of their lives, but these representations only become idols when we focus our worship, prayer and adoration on the thing rather than on God. A statue honoring war dead is just that, a statue. Showing respect by going down on one knee at the statue is not worship.

Richmnd Cty Votr
1
Points
Richmnd Cty Votr 05/29/10 - 10:40 am
0
0
C'mon, this is Augusta,

C'mon, this is Augusta, putting something worth $5,000, here? It better have a handful of soldiers guarding the statue! Anyone want to take bets on how long it will be, before it will be STOLEN? Wish it weren't so!Cameras wont help, they have MASKS for that!

gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 05/29/10 - 01:12 pm
0
0
Those boots are going to take

Those boots are going to take a walk if they're not anchored to a yard of concrete. A granite monument would have stood a better chance of surviving.

bentman
455
Points
bentman 05/29/10 - 01:14 pm
0
0
Memorial Day: The most

Memorial Day: The most ignored holiday by the bleeding hearts.

gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 05/29/10 - 02:38 pm
0
0
War is tragedy and grief.

War is tragedy and grief. Things people put out of their mind.

Pickett
67
Points
Pickett 05/29/10 - 03:10 pm
0
0
@JohnRandolphHardisonCain: I

@JohnRandolphHardisonCain: I don't personally look at it that way. It's a way for a soldier to remember a fallen comrade more so than anything else, in my opinion.

gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 05/29/10 - 03:44 pm
0
0
JohnRandolphHardisonCain - I

JohnRandolphHardisonCain - I agree. Only a few more things are more ungodly than a gun. And kneeling and praying before a gun has to be scorned. To remember a departed in my opinion - It would be more appropriate to kneel and pray to the east.

For as the light of the morning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, and covereth the whole earth, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be ( M 1:3–7, 22–23, 29, 25–26.)

Casting_Fool
1121
Points
Casting_Fool 05/29/10 - 06:17 pm
0
0
"gaspringwater", people kill

"gaspringwater", people kill people, not guns, phone cords, pantyhose, steak knives, screwdrivers, hammers, baseball bats or cars. Things can only be things. They can be used for ungodly purposes, but they're only things. I'll bet you would change your mind if that gun was being used to protect you and your family. Oh wait, that's what soldiers use them for. That's what I was trained to use them for. Why we're supposed to protect ninnies who think that soldiers are evil because they use "ungodly guns", is a question that will be pondered for generations.

gaspringwater
3
Points
gaspringwater 05/29/10 - 09:40 pm
0
0
Casting Fool - I guess we

Casting Fool - I guess we could say people kill people not drugs! Drugs are only stuff.

Casting_Fool
1121
Points
Casting_Fool 05/29/10 - 10:50 pm
0
0
Drugs do not kill people.

Drugs do not kill people. People abusing drugs kills people. For the most part, most drugs are beneficial if used properly. You seem to be avoiding my inference that guns are not evil, that people can choose to be evil and use guns for that purpose. People can also choose to defend their family and country and use a gun in the quest for that purpose. Guns are not evil, they are things. At one point in time, phone cords and pantyhose were the most used things for murdering people. I find it a bit hard to believe that either of those items is inherently evil. The same thing applies to guns. Things. It's how you use them that reveals what sort of person you are.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs