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Kelly Memorial Stadium rededication an honor for all those involved

A special thanks to everyone who made the rededication of Maj. Charles Kelly Memorial Stadium such a great success!  
The success came about because of the dedication of the committee given the opportunity to honor Maj. Kelly on the 50th anniversary of his death, coupled with the outpouring of support from our community.   
The members of the committee were Peter Mayer, VFW Commander; Dr. Ed Hagan, also representing the VFW; along with  Enoch and Lorie Autry; Burton Kemp Jr.; Charles Kelly Jr.; Ron Elliott, Public Affairs Director, Hunter Army Airfield and Fort Stewart; Willard Lariscy Jr.; and I  was also so honored. It was an awesome sight to see the large group gathered as the new monument given in Honor of Maj. Charles Kelly was unveiled, and then on to the 50-yard line for the rededication! Sixty-five Vietnam veterans lined the inside edge of the football field! What a great shout of approval they received as they were recognized by the crowd. Special thanks to Donald Singleton who brought the “Moving Vietnam Memorial” to Sylvania for the rededication. Also special thanks to Ray Reynolds for sharing Maj. Kelly’s legacy along with other items as the program unfolded.   
It was great to renew friendships with the family of Maj. Charles Kelly. Charles Jr., Carol and Barbara were all very young when they moved away, but it is very obvious they still love Sylvania and Screven County and were so appreciative of the honor shown their father.
I especially thank Maj. Jason Jones, and his troops for their presence in carrying out the awesome 21-Gun Salute and Presentation of the Colors both giving the crowd chills! Thanks to WTOC anchor Sonny Dixon and his wife, Margaret, for coming to Sylvania to be a part of this rededication. Special thanks also to Dal Cannady, also from WTOC for being here to record events both with pictures and voices and then getting back to Savannah to have pictures of the event on the 11 p.m. news Saturday night!
Our Screven County High School Band, under the leadership of Director Justin Burke, also Drum Major Darius Williams have never performed better! The band chose to wear their full uniforms, regardless of the heat because they felt it proper to do so!
Many people have said they have never heard “Taps” (Echo Version) played as beautifully and further expressed unashamedly how they stood at full attention with tears in their eyes! The entire band did their best and it was very obvious they kept their eyes on the awesome reason for the rededication!  
Special thanks also to those who were contracted to do some of the work, and the volunteers who worked so dilligently alongside committee members to get the monument in place, sod on the ground, the engraved bricks ready for display along with the lighting and the American flag ready for the rededication.  
Also special thanks to the organization that single handedly funded the monument and to those who donated most of the concrete for the base of the monument! Once again it took many people working together for this to be accomplished, and all for a very worthy effort to honor our hero Maj. Charles Kelly who never gave one thought for his personal safety. He was a dedicated real American hero who piloted a Huey helicopter. His total mission was to save every wounded American possible. He set a wonderful example for all of us, to do whatever it takes to keep America the greatest nation in the world!  
Special thanks to Luis Carreras, Army Reserve Ambassador for Georgia, for coming to be a part of this rededication service, and also Zach Rehnstrom  for the awesome simulated sound of the helicopter and the voices of Dustoff and Maj. Kelly!  
We were also honored to have State Sen. Jesse Stone, State Rep. Jon Burns and Al Burns, executive director of Coastal Regional Council, along with his family, all offering their support! Thanks also to Gary Weaver, director of police and fire services, for his expertise assistance!  
As a member of the committee, I thank everyone who made the rededication of Maj. Charles L Kelly Stadium an awesome event! We honored our Military Hero and also showed true support for our Vietnam veterans who fought for our freedom, putting their lives on the line at all times.
May God continue to bless America!
Margaret Evans
City of Sylvania