IMG_8148Brittney Burns – Staff Writer

Macon County has supported veterans in the community for decades, ensuring that services and opportunities are available. County leaders are always first to rise to the occasion to thank the men and women of the United States military for their service and work to ensure that all veterans in Macon County are not just welcomed home, but taken care of while they are here.

Last week, county leaders once again showed their appreciation to the men and women who have donned a uniform by presenting Neal Riendeau, a member of the Veterans Memorial Committee with a check for $1,400 to install a new sound system at the county Veterans Memorial Park.

“The new sound system at the Veteran’s Park will provide the veterans, their families and all those attending special events at this very special place the opportunity to hear the speakers anywhere on the grounds,” said Macon County Commissioner Ronnie Beale. “This is especially important on Memorial Day when we we pay our respects to those who gave the supreme sacrifice for our freedom.”

County Manager Derek Roland noted this partnership is another testament to the county’s dedication to its veterans.

“The Veterans Memorial Park in Macon County is one of the nicest in the state,” said Roland. “It is a testament of how grateful the citizens of Macon County are to those who have fought and died for our country.  In my opinion this is the most hallowed ground in Macon County, because if it were not for those men and women whose names are listed here the freedoms and liberties we have today as American citizens would not exist.  I think the speaker upgrade is especially important due to the growing attendance at the events held here.  Often times due to the number of attendees, people are standing far away from the speaker making it difficult for them to hear.  The $2,800 which will go towards the system upgrade is well worth the improved quality that it will bring to these events.”

The need for the sound system came after various events were held at the park and some veterans and people in the large crowd that gathers had trouble hearing the programs. Things like the “Star Spangled  Banner” or guest speakers were often difficult to hear throughout the park. To improve the sound quality and serve the hundreds of people who participate at events at the park, the veterans committee worked with NCI Communications owner Karl Gillespie to get a sound system that was both affordable and would service the entire park.

“In years past the only ones that hear and understand the guest speakers had to be almost directly in front of the podium,” said Beale. “We look forward to much better attendance now that everyone can hear and enjoy this great venue dedicated to all veterans.”

The total cost of the speakers was $2,800 and Macon County officials voted to split the cost of the system with the veterans committee. The funds were taken out of the contingency fund and Macon County Commissioners supported the projected unanimously.

The new sound system is expected to be installed and ready by the annual Memorial Day celebration held at the park.