DALTON — Rain fell non-stop as members of the Dalton Veterans Memorial Day Committee and Mayor Aaron Holzman unveiled a new veterans’ memorial stone at a dedication ceremony July 4 in downtown.
The memorial honors veterans from all branches of the military and all wars from the Spanish-American War to present. It was designed by members of the committee with the help of artist William Chickillo.
U.S. Navy Vietnam veteran, Memorial Day Veteran Committee co-chair and former Dalton police chief James Gray said the committee chose July 4 because the stone wasn’t ready in time for the annual Memorial Day ceremony.
“The next patriotic holiday I felt was July 4,” Gray said following the ceremony.
“To me, it (the stone) is showing respect and honor to those who have come before us. Believe me when I say the old stone that was here was adequate for many, many years, but I’m looking into the future.”
According to Gray, Veteran John Holbert, of Dalton, was committee co-chair and Holbert and Lee Rees, also a veteran, unveiled the stone. Reverend Peter Razer, pastor of the Dalton United Methodist Church, blessed the stone with a dedication prayer.
Mayor Holzman said he spoke about honor, community and respect for the veterans.
“The purpose of the stone is to give us a place in the community where we can come and pay respect for those esteemed people in our community,” he said.