76 honored during annual memorial ceremony

  • Published
  • By Angela Woolen
  • Robins Public Affairs
Honoring those who have passed on from this life is what the Camellia Gardens Memorial Ceremony has been doing since 1976.

For the 40th anniversary of the event, a new chapter was opened at the Museum of Aviation Century of Flight Hangar May 26.

"Our ceremony this year is special," said Col. Jeff King, 78th Air Base Wing commander.

This is a transition year for the gardens. Currently, the memorial is behind the gates at Robins and is only accessible to those with base access. Soon it will be accessible to anyone when it moves to the museum. Conceptual drawings were shown during the ceremony, showing how the new memorial will take shape.

The new memorial will include the names from the last 40 years as well as those from future generations.

Forty years ago, the idea for the garden was to serve as a monument to the men and women whose last duty station, as military or civilian, was Robins.

It was founded by the Middle Georgia Camellia Society, the Warner Robins Chamber of Commerce and Robins' officials.

Centerville Mayor John Harley was the guest speaker at the event.

"It is important for all of us to know we will be remembered," he said.

The names of each of the 76 people were read aloud, each name followed by the ringing of a bell.

After the ceremony, family members and friends took pictures around a wreath which honored their loved ones.

"May the fond memory of our loved ones comfort us," Harley said.