Andalusia Ceremony Honors Veterans and Service Members


By Amanda Wade

Andalusia's Veteran's Memorial Park was filled with pride, sorrow, and sacrifice today as the Covington County community gathered to honor the sacrifices that many of their own neighbors have made. 

Lance Gieselmann, a disabled veteran and the key speaker for the ceremony, says today is a day to reflect and honor those who didn't make it home. It is the 10 year anniversary of the day his battle tank ran over an explosive. He was the only survivor of the attack. 
"...You work with and you live with more than you have your own family.  They become family to you and, you know, losing two in the same day was tough," says Gieselmann.  
Another veteran, who fought in World War II, The Vietnam War, and the Korean War, says some veterans can't even talk about their experiences, but he finds it helpful to deal with the pain, "They just keep it to themselves, but that's not good either, to keep it within.  But, maybe that's all they can do," says Byron Nichols. 
Some students say they are inspired by their own families, veterans, and those currently serving the country to continue their family tradition of fighting for freedom, "Serving this country is something my family has always pushed to, and when I get older I want to be a doctor in the Air Force, so I would like to serve my country in return," says Darious Davis, a Student Ambassador for the City of Andalusia. 
Covington County veterans say each year, their monument grows with new bricks to honor those past and presently serving. 
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