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SUGAR HILL — The City of Sugar Hill is a huge supporter of the men and women of the U.S. military past and present.  They hold a Memorial Day ceremony each year, as well as, a ceremony for Veterans Day in partnership with the Suwanee Creek Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and American Legion Post 127.  Small American flags are placed on the graves of every military veteran in the Sugar Hill Cemetery for Memorial Day.

Sugar Hill’s new Veterans Memorial monument was completed just a week prior to Memorial Day. Photo – Alicia Couch Payne

The third annual Memorial Day ceremony was extra special this year as the Veterans Memorial monument is complete and was officially dedicated.  This Memorial Day is also the first year that the American Legion Post 127 has participated as the Sugar Hill American Legion Post and not the Buford American Legion Post.  

Boy Scout Troop 1534 raised the flag to half-mast in honor of the fallen soldiers. Photo – Alicia Couch Payne

The ceremony this year also means so much because it almost didn’t happen.  With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing so many events to cancel, the ceremony was in limbo.  Sugar Hill decided to hold the ceremony but with a few differences over the years past. The city promoted people being able to watch the ceremony live on the city’s Facebook page this year. Attendees were encouraged to wear masks to the event and were asked to maintain six feet apart from anyone not in their immediate household.

Kathryn Baskin of the Sugar Hill Historic Preservation Society read a proclamation for recently deceased Sugar Hill resident, veteran, and community leader Maron Buice. Photo – Alicia Couch Payne

The ceremony was opened by Mayor Steve Edwards in front of the new memorial by welcoming everyone.  Boy Scout Troop 1534 raised the flag to half-mast and everyone took a moment to pause for the “Star-Spangled Banner.” Pastor Chuck Allen from the Sugar Hill Church lead the attendees in prayer before Sugar Hill resident and veteran Clint Christiansen gave a quick history of Memorial Day.  Recently deceased resident, veteran, and community pioneer Maron Buice was honored in a proclamation read by Kathryn Baskin of the Sugar Hill Historic Preservation Society.

Commander Jon Payne of the new Sugar Hill American Legion Post 127 gave remarks about the sacrifices of veterans past and present. Photo – Alicia Couch Payne

The Commander of American Legion Post 127, Jon Payne, said a few words about the sacrifices made by brave men and women, as well as, commented on the new Veterans Memorial monument.  For almost 100 years, American Legion Post 127 called Buford home but when Buford bought the land that the Legion sat on, the Buford Legion would be no more.  With tensions high, the Legion decided to move outside of Buford and Sugar Hill welcomed them with open arms.  They are now proudly called the Sugar Hill American Legion Post 127 and their new home is being constructed at the corner of Suwanee Dam Road and Austin Garner Road across from Gary Pirkle Park. Construction should be completed later this year.

Terese Steinback of the Suwanee Creek Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Sugar Hill Mayor Steve Edwards placed a wreath at the new Veterans Memorial monument. Photo – Alicia Couch Payne

Terese Steinbach of the Suwanee Creek Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution also gave a few remarks.  She and Mayor Edwards placed one of the two wreaths at the Memorial in honor of our fallen soldiers.  The Suwanee Creek Chapter has been instrumental in the creation of the city’s Memorial Day ceremony, as well as, other initiatives in which our nation’s former and present military have been honored.  Council Member Taylor Anderson and his son placed the other wreath at the monument.  One wreath was donated by the Daughters of the American Revolution and the other by Council Member Brandon Hembree.  Southern Grace, a florist studio and gift boutique in the E Center made the gorgeous wreaths used in the ceremony.

City Council Member Brandon Hembree presented the last part of the monument, an eagle statue. Photo – Alicia Couch Payne
An eagle statue was unveiled as part of the Veterans Memorial monument. Photo – Alicia Couch Payne

Closing out the ceremony was the unveiling of the eagle statue that sits on the right side of the monument.  “For us the Eagle represents our Community. It was the mascot for the Sugar Hill School that was there before the Buice School. That’s why we also named the theatre the Eagle Theatre. It symbolizes freedom but also ties us to our past,” said Council Member Brandon Hembree.

BY:

alicia@northgwinnettvoice.com

Alicia joined the North Gwinnett Voice, as the Editor, shortly after the first publication. She is a homegrown Buford native, with the southern charm and "bless your heart" included. ...

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