The Bay County Veterans Memorial means so much to the residents of Bay County and Panama City Beach, but especially to the late Callaway mayor Robert Thompson who died this past year and today the group stopped to reflect on Thompson's dedication to this memorial.
It was a somber day for those who attended the Rededication Ceremony at the Bay County Veterans Memorial. For some, it was hard to fight back the tears as Debbie Sasser read aloud a speech the late Callaway Mayor once read.
"In their spirit, let us rededicate ourselves to the men and women who worked and died together so that our nation will remain free and continue to stand as a beacon of liberty."
Sasser and his colleagues recall the time and effort he devoted to the memorial, speaking to city leaders about the project and helping to sell bricks that line the plaza.
"He worked endlessly, from one year to the other, trying to get this settled for each Fourth of July." Sasser says.
"They probably thought it would be a ceremony to rededicate the memorials that we have, but when Bob's name was brought up, it was really moving." Bay County Veterans Council President JK Lacey says.
From ceremonies, to the time he took to sit and listen to veterans, it was Thompson that was in it for the right reasons, and it is that same pride that's celebrate on this Fourth of July.
"It is in fact a remembrance of what people have given up for our country and we out here at panama city beach want to thank them always for what they do out here." Sasser says.
Mayor Thompson died this past May and was laid to rest on June 1st.