November 10, 2014
At the Nov. 7 Dedication and Official Flag-Raising of the Johns Creek Veterans Walk at Newtown Park, Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker urged an estimated 700 people in attendance to never forget the service and sacrifice of our military personnel.
"This beautiful Veterans Memorial Walk that now graces our Newtown Park gives us a place where we can come as individuals, as couples, and as a community to remember," he said. "It is one way – perhaps the only way – we can repay that debt we owe."
Bodker was joined in the hour-long ceremony by Congressman Tom Price, who said Americans should remember to care for our service men and women even after they are no longer in uniform.
In his first official appearance since being appointed Korean Consul General in Atlanta, Seong-jin Kim, expressed gratitude for America's help in keeping South Korea free and for its continued support for the flourishing nation. The Republic of Korea donated the Korean War plaza, one of 10 plazas at the Veterans Memorial Walk.
The highlight of the ceremony was the raising of the flags of each branch of the military to the accompaniment of its song.
The 7th and 8th Grade Choir of Perimeter Christian School sang the "Star-Spangled Banner" at the beginning of the ceremony and closed it with a rendition of "America the Beautiful."
Afterward, students of Perimeter Christian School and members of the audience toured the grounds of the Veterans Memorial Walk, located on four acres of parkland near Park Place. The Veterans Memorial Walk will serve as a place for visitors to reflect on the sacrifice of those who served in the military, and as a location for patriotic events in Johns Creek.
It features 10 plazas commemorating conflicts dating to World War I, plus Women in Service, Purple Heart recipients, and POW-MIAs. Each plaza features a 1,800-pound monument with etched photographs and colored service ribbons specific to each conflict. Granite benches are planned for each memorial plaza. Visitors can also stop for rest and reflection at a gazebo in the center of the Memorial.
Each monument plaza is floored with donated pavers, some of which are engraved with the names of the donor's loved one who served, rank, branch of service and years served. The JCVA is still accepting donations
for engraved pavers. No tax money is being used for the $300,000 project.
Wayne Kidd, president of the Johns Creek Veterans Association, which conceived and executed the Veterans Memorial Walk as a project, thanked the many sponsors, companies and individuals who helped make the project possible.
Monument donations were provided by:
- World War I: Johns Creek merchants
- World War II: Jimmy Ho
- Korean War: Republic of Korea
- Vietnam War: Cori and John Davenport of Johns Creek
- Gulf War: Andy Fang
- Iraq War: Jay Lin
- Women In Service: Girl Scout Sabrina Yvellez
- Purple Heart Memorial: Col. Rick and Pamela White
- POW-MIA: Bob and Lisa Cheeley
Other contributors include:
- Optech Monette
- Davey Tree Expert Co.
- Cori and John Davenport
- The Home Depot Foundation and Store #1755 in Roswell
- Knights of Columbus, St. Brigid Catholic Church
- Barry and Karen Elson and Family
- Precision Landscaping Management
- I Heart Media
- CH2M Hill
- Daniel Jackson Allen, Jr. and family
- Johns Creek Beautification
- The City of Johns Creek
"The Johns Creek Veterans Association is very grateful for those who stepped up and helped us create a tribute to all of those who took the oath and wore a uniform," Kidd said. "With the help of our donors and friends, the Veterans Memorial Walk is a place Johns Creek can be proud of."
People can still donate engraved pavers in honor of their loved ones who served. The plaza dedicated to the Afghanistan conflict is the only plaza still without a sponsor.
For more information about sponsorship and paver opportunities, visit the Johns Creek Veterans Association webpage