By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
Veterans Day balloon launch to become annual event

SNELLVILLE – Hundreds gathered on the Towne Green Tuesday to watch a Veterans Day tribute which saw about 200 LED-lit balloons fill the sky, an event city officials say they hope to make an annual tradition.

More than 100 tiles with veteran’s names etched on them were also revealed Tuesday at the recently built Snellville Veterans Memorial, including a handful that went missing before the memorial was unveiled before Memorial Day. 

“We have certainly introduced a new tradition to Snellville,” said event organizer and Mayor Pro Tem Tom Witts. “The first annual balloon launch was to commemorate Snellville’s renewed commitment to our veterans to coincide with our new memorial. The event exceeded all of our expectations and will become an annual event to be held each year on Veterans Day.”

Witts was joined by the rest of the council, Barbara Bender, Diane Krause, Dave Emanuel and Bobby Howard. Singers Forever in Ministry performed at the ceremony and Melvin Everson, executive director of the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity, was the keynote speaker. Father John Welch led the crowd in prayer. 

The balloons had LED lights placed inside and a card attached which read “This Balloon Was Launched From Snellville, Georgia.” Also included was on the cards was a space to write the name a beloved veteran the balloon is being launched in honor of. The tag asks those who find the balloon to let organizers know when and where it was found by posting on the Snellville Veterans Memorial Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SnellvilleVeteransMemorial).

Balloons have already been found as of Wednesday evening.