‘May we never forget freedom isn’t free’

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Robert Noles/Opelika Observer

Opelika’s annual Memorial Day celebrations held Monday

By Morgan Bryce
Associate Editor

Paying homage to the service and sacrifice of America’s fallen military heroes was the central focus of Opelika’s annual Memorial Day Celebration held Monday inside City Hall.
The ceremony included the presentation of colors and laying of the wreath by the Opelika Fire Department Honor Guard, playing of Taps by Opelika High School Band Director Neil Sasser and a speech by guest speaker Jamie Popwell.
An Opelika native and retired Marine, Popwell spoke on the importance of the holiday and the significance it holds for him.
“We gather here to honor those who have gone before us and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. To honor those families that are left behind – the dads, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives,” Popwell said.
He added that these heroes will never be forgotten for their bravery and sacrifice.
“We have the obligation, we have the duty, to keep this history going for our children to understand the importance (of Memorial Day).”
The Museum of East Alabama hosted an ice cream social after the event.
2018 marks the 150th Memorial Day celebration, originally known as “Decoration Day.” Created in 1868, the day’s purpose was to honor and remember those who served in the Civil War. The national holiday now honors those who gave their lives in all of America’s wars.

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