The city of Johns Creek and the Johns Creek Veterans Association has hosted a Veterans Memorial Walk in Newton Park since 2012. Since it began, veterans have received over $475,000 in born donations and in-kind service for the project, completely free of tax-payer money. The walk has been a successful way to respect those who fought for this country and to raise money to support them as they return home. This year, the event took place on Nov. 10.
To open the ceremony, an Army Ranger descended from the air in a parachute as recording artist Curtis Reed sang the National Anthem. After speeches from many former generals and soldiers, people began the walk.
The Memorial Walk lies on four acres of Newtown Park, with a grand entrance including flags of states and countries along with those of the service branches. There is a concrete walk that passes ten different monuments commemorating World War I, Women in Service, the Purple Heart and many more. This peaceful walk down these four acres allows the people of Johns Creek to both learn about and respect those who defended our country.
Additionally, it gives them a chance to give back to these soldiers and benefit their lives today. The park was created in order to provide a venue quiet and calm enough to pay respects to the sacrifice made by these men and women, hidden far enough from noise and distractions to allow people to properly reflect and commemorate.
Several changes have been made to the walk this year. Landscaping was added to make it a “park within a park,” in order to evoke the sense of peace and serenity that is intended to come from the memorial. A new lighting system has been installed, and an app is available for smartphones, offering a guided tour through the memorial. Additionally, there was a second in-person tour which provided information and was led by veterans themselves.
The Veterans Memorial Walk is an opportunity for veterans to receive the recognition that they deserve, along with the people of Johns Creek to truly understand the sacrifice that is made for each of their lives. The money raised in the past four events has been an important help in the lives of our city’s veterans and should continue to be for years to come.