Garden Club Dedicates Trees to Troops - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/18/07

Garden Club Dedicates Trees to Troops

Lt. Col. Ken Vaughn and Alissa Meeks dedicate the garden club's memorial plaque. Lt. Col. Ken Vaughn and Alissa Meeks dedicate the garden club's memorial plaque.

The next time you're driving on the Skidaway Causeway, some Coastal Empire volunteers hope you'll remember the men and women who protect your freedom to be here. The Wymberley Garden Club on Isle of Hope unveiled a plaque next to ten new palm trees, honoring America's servicemen and women in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ten new trees do more than just lead the way down the Skidaway Causeway, volunteers with the Wymberley Garden Club planted them as living reminders of the sacrifices of our servicemen and women.

"Freedom is not free," said Wymberley Garden Club member Mary Nelson Adams. "We owe our lives and we owe a lot of gratitude to these men and women who go into harm's way for our freedom."

They're also thanking their families. Every person who attended who had a family member in the military received a yellow rose. Alissa Meeks, who lost her husband, Sergeant Ronald Meeks, in June 2006 when his Chinook helicopter went down, was asked to unveil the memorial plaque. Lieutenant Colonel Ken Vaughn said he was privileged to stand by her side.

"I had the honor of escorting her while she unveiled the plaque and it was just very special for me to be able to do that," said Lieutenant Colonel Vaughn. "It was a beautiful ceremony, very much appreciated by those of us who are still serving actively."

"It was such an honor to do something like this," said Chatham County Commissioner Helen Stone, "especially in remembrance of our soldiers and the men and women who are making the sacrifices -- the ultimate sacrifices so that we can enjoy the lives that we do today."

The Wymberley Garden Club planted the trees back in April. The Chatham County Commission, the Wymberley Garden Club and the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia provided the trees.

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