By: Laura-Jane Hatcher (WRGA News)
While a trumpeter played the slow melody of Taps, hundreds of people stood side-by-side in silence at Myrtle Hill on Veterans’ Day, honoring the men and women lost to war.
The American Legion Post 5 hosted the ceremony which brought a crowd of attendees to the grave-side of Charles Graves, the Known Solider from World War I. Bob Kerr, one of the last surviving witnesses of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, spoke to a hushed crowd. On December 7th, 1941, moments before the first of many bombs would drop and take more than 2,000 American lives; Kerr remembers he and a friend were awake and preparing to go to church.
“We were deciding at that time whether we would go down to the mess hall or go on to the church where the good ladies there had coffee and doughnuts. That decision never came to a conclusion,” he said to the crowd. "That was about the time our screen window received holes; we heard noises we never heard before. That’s where I was the morning of December 7th. I wasn’t a hero, but I was awake.”
Graves went on to explain his and his unit’s reaction to the attack, even describing the death of his senior officer. After his short, but gripping speech, representatives of several veteran organizations laid wreathes atop Graves’ tomb. The Known Solider was a fallen veteran of World War I, originally from Armuchee. His grave is now a national memorial to fallen American soldiers everywhere.