Roswell remembers fallen heroes in one of Georgia's largest Memo - CBS46 News

Roswell remembers fallen heroes in one of Georgia's largest Memorial programs

Posted: Updated:
(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

The city of Roswell welcomed more than 1,000 people on Monday-- from the really young to the old, veterans both present and in spirit-- to stand for the fallen.

"I wanted to teach my sons about all the people who've given their lives so we could enjoy the freedom we have here," said Jen Walters who came to visit the memorial with her husband and two young sons.

Program organizers say The Roswell Remembers ceremony has grown to be one of the largest Memorial Day programs in the state.

The keynote speaker was retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Joseph DeSantis. Despite the rain, the program went on with tributes, reflections, and a dance performance.

There were at least two World War II veterans in the audience, now in their 90s, with clear memories of younger days when they dedicated their lives to service.

“I look around and I see there aren't too many of us old buddies left, so I am proud to be an ex-serviceman,” said  97-year-old World War II veteran Bob Kenyon.

Carl Toney was just 17 years old when he enlisted in The United States Navy. He's now 92 and says sometimes he can’t believe he experienced all that he did.

“I don't think I'm a hero,” Toney told CBS46’s Hayley Mason. “I'm just here. I was there at one time. That's over with. I don't see myself as a hero,” he went on.

Despite how Toney would describe himself. He too sacrificed himself for his country battling Navy ships off the coast of Normandy.

“We were in a convoy of other ships and other ships were sinking and German submarines would come down on one side and were blowing up the rest of them,” Toney recalled, noting the ceremony brought back memories of the war.

The most touching part for many was the wreath laying at the Faces of War memorial fountain outside of the Roswell City Hall.

“It's a sad thing when you really boil it down to seeing someone die and they're gone forever,” Toney said.

The ceremony served as a poignant reminder that freedom isn't free, but there is honor in the sacrifice.

Copyright 2018 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

Connect with CBS46