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Veterans honored at Delmar Gardens

Meghan Kotowski
Gwinnett Daily Post

LAWRENCEVILLE, GA — On Thursday morning, approximately 40 people gathered in a back room at Delmar Gardens.

Instead of congregating to put together puzzles or chat over punch, the residents were invited to be honored for their time serving their country.

During November, Crossroads Hospice of Tucker is traveling around the metro area to pin veterans as part of its “Honor Our Veterans” Recognition Campaign. Monica Laguaite, Susan Vison and William English stopped by Thursday morning to give out certificates and pins.

“Their military service and service to our country is such an important part of not just their history but their identity,” said Jennifer Thilo, executive director of Delmar Gardens. “Even though they aren’t currently in service, I think they’ll always see themselves as service men and women.”

Mel Bigelow was one of the residents who received recognition.

“It was a long time ago and we didn’t ever want to talk about it,” he said about his time in the Army. “But I’m very proud.”

Before anyone was acknowledged, Georgia Gwinnett College’s ROTC presented the colors, a chaplain read a poem and there was a moment of silent.

Each veteran was announced — one at a time — and thanked personally by the Crossroads staff.

“This is nice. I like it,” Navy veteran Harold Snyder said after getting his certificate. “I’m going to keep it, get it framed and put it on the wall.”

With Veterans Day around the corner, Thilo was thrilled to show the residents that their time defending the country hasn’t been forgotten.

“They call them ‘The Greatest Generation,’ but I do think that they have a level of patriotism that is deeper,” she said. “This affirms not only their service, but their identity and sense of themselves. It gives the rest of us an opportunity to honor them and let them know that we love them and appreciate them for their service.”