The program was officiated by Marvin Hampton, chairman of the committee that built the park and organized the Veterans Day Program.
The program began with a prayer led by Chaplain Marvin Mobbs, which was followed by the National Anthem sung by Colleetoe Sanders. After the anthem, the honor guard performed a 21 gun salute and taps was played. After this opening ceremony, Hampton introduced the keynote speaker, Randy Goodman.
Goodman is an Air Force veteran from Florence, S.C. He served more than 17 years in the Air Force, retiring in 1994 at the rank of master sergeant. Goodman entered basic training in July 1976 and graduated from the aerospace ground equipment school at Chanute Air Force Base, Ill., in December 1976.
Goodman's military decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Air Force Good Conduct Medal with four oak leaf clusters, the National Defense Service Medal and the Southwest Asia Service Medal with one device.
Goodman is a lifetime member of the Air Force Sergeant's Association and The American Legion. He currently serves The American Legion as state junior vice commander, state legislative liaison and as state employment committee chair.
His speech commemorated veterans who gave their lives in service to our country. He spoke about honoring veterans and their families and giving thanks to them for their service. Goodman gave thanks to the veterans who enter the workforce as fire-fighters and police officers. He also brought up points about the struggle of veterans and the problems they face such as homelessness and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Born of their extraordinary accomplishments comes our extraordinary debt,” Goodman said. “And for those accomplishments and for their dedication, we must always be grateful.”
After Goodman's speech and the crowd's applause, Hampton gave a closing statement, thanking the audience and the veterans.
Hampton mentioned that this year's Veterans Day Program is the first in Cedartown to not have a veteran of World War I in attendance.
Sanders ended the ceremony by singing “God Bless America,” to which the audience sang along under their umbrellas.