JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – The Johns Creek Veterans Memorial Walk is a quiet place where solitude and remembrance honors those Americans who have fought in the country’s wars since 1900.
Now have come the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus representing the All Saints, Mary Our Queen and Saint Andrew parishes. Their duty is to pay further homage, this time to honor the men and women who gave that “last full measure of devotion.”
Bill Camden is the Faithful Navigator for this Fourth Degree Order of Knights of Columbus. He said his order wanted to come to this, the fourth-largest veterans’ park in the United States, to honor veterans who died in war.
“We want to dedicate a memorial to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice defending our rights and our liberty,” Camden said.
He said it is their mission to Remember, Honor and Teach. So the commissioned a bronze memorial in the tradition of the “Soldier’s Battlefield Cross.”
During a battle or soon after, it was not always possible to carry away the dead. So comrades would mark the spot where the body lay with a rifle and fixed bayonet stuck in the ground. On the butt of the rifle would hang the soldier’s helmet to identify him as an American. It is also done as a tribute of respect for a fallen comrade.
It has become a symbolic memorial at many veteran events to place a rifle and bayonet in the ground. The boots flank the rifle as the G.I. helmet hangs on the stock. It is one soldier’s memorial to a fellow soldier. Sometimes the dog tags of a comrade are hung as well.
“This memorial and others will ensure that those veterans will never be forgotten” said Camden.
Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker also offered words of remembrance.
“This monument will serve as a legacy to service men and women who will never be forgotten,” Bodker said.
Retired Army Col. Rick White has given eulogies to fallen comrades shortly after fighting the battles in which those men died – with “boots, bayonets and dog tags” formed in front of their comrades.
White said the most often quoted Bible verse at these times is John 15:13. It begins: “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for one’s friends.”
To that, White added these words, which are carved on the Battlefield Cross Memorial: “All gave some. Some gave all.”