clear
Monday May 4th, 2015 11:15PM

U.S. honors veterans over Memorial Day weekend

By The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) - The U.S. Marine Corps' chaplain, speaking Sunday to a congregation that has tied gold ribbons on the church's fence in honor of fallen soldiers since the Iraq War began, lauded the sacrifice of veterans around the world as President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to Afghanistan for Memorial Day.

``What they have done has allowed us to be here,'' Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben told the roughly 200 worshippers at the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan, including active duty servicemen and women in town for the annual Fleet Week celebration.

Memorial Day, she said, was a time to remind ourselves of the meaning of sacrifice and to put personal struggles and difficulties in perspective.

Across the nation, citizens were marking Memorial Day with somber ceremonies, flag pl5nting at cemeteries, parades and even barbecues an American pastime that Petty Officer 1st Class Brian McNeal said should be enjoyed this weekend.

``I'm in the service so that they can enjoy that,'' said McNeal, 39, who is stationed in Suffolk, Virginia, and is in town for Fleet Week. ``They made the sacrifice so everyday citizens don't have to worry about the evils of the world.''

Thousands of memorial ribbons are tied on the storied church's fence. There are gold ribbons for service members killed in Afghanistan, green ribbons representing prayers for peace and blue ribbons for the people of Afghanistan.

Obama arrived at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan to speak with troops and visit soldiers being treated at a base hospital. At least 2,181 members of the U.S. military have died during the nearly 13-year Afghan war and thousands more have been wounded.

On Saturday, Democratic congresswoman Tammy Duckworth served as grand marshal of Chicago's Memorial Day Parade and struggled to hold back tears during a wreath-laying ceremony to honor fallen soldiers. She lost her legs and partial use of an arm when a rocket-propelled grenade hit the Black Hawk helicopter she was piloting in Iraq in 2004.

More than 300 Junior ROTC students from Chicago Military Academy at Bronzeville marched in the city's parade. Afterward, still dressed in their uniforms, they chatted, bantered and ordered ice cream from a vendor's truck while waiting for a bus that would take them back home.

Their instructor, 1st Sgt. Stephen Roberts, an Army veteran, said the students practice all year to march in the parade.

``They enjoy it a lot,'' Roberts said. ``We tell them about it at the beginning of the year. Our rifle, our drum teams, our flags, they practice every day. They come in on their own accord. They do their own practices. It means a lot to them. They're very proud to do this.''

In Massachusetts, Boston Marathon survivor Jeff Bauman and his rescuer, Carlos Arredondo, helped plant tens of thousands of flags Saturday at a cemetery to honor soldiers.

Obama directed all government agencies in the United States to fly their flags at half-staff on Monday in observance of Memorial Day.
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 4 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 4 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 4 months ago )
U.S. News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 4 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 4 months ago )
Local/State News
Obama again avoids calling 1915 Armenian killings 'genocide'
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will once again stop short of calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide, prompting anger and disappointment from those who have been pushing him to ful...
1:00PM ( 1 week ago )
Ex-NFL star Hernandez convicted of murder, sentenced to life
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for a deadly late-night shooting, sealing the d...
8:54PM ( 2 weeks ago )
Clinton kicks off 2016 campaign online, heads next to Iowa
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton jumped back into presidential politics on Sunday, making a much-awaited announcement she will again seek the White House with a promise to serve as the "champi...
7:56PM ( 3 weeks ago )
Hall, White, Jefferson schools recognized nationally for use of technology
Three school districts in northeast Georgia - Hall, White, and Jefferson - have received national recognition for their use use of innovative technologies. They earned top spots in the Center for Digital Education's and the National School Boards Association's 10th annual Digital School Districts Survey.
By Staff
1:00PM ( 3 weeks ago )
US Capitol lockdown lifted after man fatally shoots himself
WASHINGTON (AP) — A precautionary lockdown of the U.S. Capitol was lifted after about two hours Saturday following a suicide by a man carrying a protest sign.The man died after shooting himself on the...
6:15PM ( 3 weeks ago )