The second annual wreath laying and commemoration ceremony in honor of Marquis de Lafayette was held on the LaGrange square on Friday, September 6th. Members of the Lafayette Alliance, ThINC Academy, Sons of the Revolution, and Callaway Middle School mentors and students gathered in front of the statue of Lafayette to celebrate the 262nd birthday of Lafayette, and to honor our city’s historical relationship to the great Revolutionary War hero.
President of the Lafayette Alliance, Dr Richard Ingram stated, “The present always is in conversation with the past, and we have much to learn and be inspired by.”Dr. Ingram shared a brief about the life of Lafayette and his background of how even at the young age of 8, Lafayette desired to do something grand with his life. “We are here to share a story that is universal; there is something in it for everybody. It touches hearts, minds, and souls.”
The Sons of the American Revolution color guard performed a presentation of the colors and firing of the salute. The SARs fired the 21-gun musket and canon salute at the completion of the program. La-Grange Community Band, under the direction of Neal Brumbeloe played the national anthems of both France and the United States.
An invocation was given by John Beyers, senior minister of the First United Methodist Church. Beyers gave thanks to God for the patriotic and heroic example of Lafayette. He prayed for our sons and daughters of today, to be inspired to stand with zeal to promote the timeless principles of liberty, humanity, equality, and justice. In the concluding remarks of his prayer, Beyers said;”May the good fortune of our great land be closely tied to the good fortune of all humanity, as we gladly share the abundance that IS America with those in need.”
School students from LaGrange and Troup County participated in the commemorative celebration. Lafayette Alliance, Vice president, Kathyrn Matthews stated; “I have had the privilege of educating the youth and their mentors about Marquis de Lafayette, known to them as the man on the square.
Dr. Sue Forrest has been an instructor for Troup County School System for 25 years. Dr. Forrest said that for the last two years, ThINC College and Career Academy partnered with the Lafayette Alliance to spread the word about the Marquis De Lafayette and who he was to our children and youth. The students have written books and developed projects about every aspect of Lafayette’s life. Student Latashana Calloway has written a bi-lingual book titled Marcus Meets the Marquis de Lafayette. It is available for download on Amazon. A Youtube video; Who Is The Man On The Square was developed by students; Sam Johnson, Brian DeGennaro, Trey Smith, and Riley Morgan.
The Georgia State House and Senate members passed the measure in January of 2018 to adopt the new September 6th holiday as “Marquis de Lafayette Day” for the state. The final proclamation was signed by then Governor Nathan Deal in February of 2018.
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Tammy Greathouse Staff Writer