SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Friday was one of the more somber ceremonies on the eve of St. Patrick, culminating in laying a wreath at the base of the Jasper Memorial.
The ceremony could be heard from miles away as the Grand Marshal, St. Patrick’s Day Committee, military members and others marched into downtown Savannah, honoring one of their own.
“Sergeant Jasper is regarded as one of the greatest heroes. He’s a Revolutionary War hero,” Michael Bolton, Chairman of the William Jasper Ceremony said. “I had a friend that said if they would have had the Medal Of Honor back during the Revolutionary War, he would have been awarded it at least two different times.”
Sergeant Jasper was fatally wounded during the Siege of Savannah in 1779 because of his sacrifice. People of all ages come together to celebrate his life and honor the military during the Season of St. Patrick.
“My family brought me here as a child. I brought my children when they were young and I still come as well, so I really, really feel like this is our heritage, and I’m excited about it,” Tommy Grooms, an Air Force Veteran and Savannah resident, said.
So, Friday afternoon, hundreds left their celebrations for a few hours to pay their respects for Sgt. Jasper and honor those still serving today.
“We would not have the freedoms that we have in this country to have a St. Patrick’s celebration if it weren’t for the men and women in the uniform defending our freedom. You can wake up here and do anything you want to do here in the United States pretty much. You can’t do that everywhere. We owe that to the military," Bolton added.
Participation in the ceremony is considered a high honor.