Veterans Honored at Memorial Opening

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Chamber of Commerce honored veterans Friday, opening the Wall of Honor at Boone Landing senior community. Photographs of 29 veterans who either lived at Boone Landing or have spouses that live in the retirement apartments line the memorial. 

Columbia Chamber of Commerce ambassadors led the ribbon cutting ceremony in front of more than 30 people. Residents from Boone Landing came to pay their respects to loved ones.

Joanne Savage, a resident at Boone Landing lost her husband seven years ago. His picture now hangs among honored veterans on the Wall of Honor.

"It was really difficult losing him," she said. "But he would be honored to see this here."

She is one of many spouses who paid tribute to veterans Friday afternoon. Columbia Chamber of Commerce ambassador chair, Michele Spry, said the memorial is important to the community. "I think it's huge to recognize those men and women that fought for freedom," she said. "We wouldn't have what we have if it wasn't for them."

Of the 29 veterans, only one woman currently living at Boone Landing had her picture on the Wall of Honor. Helen Girard, an army nurse during World War Two, served from 1941-1945 in Mississippi, taking care of wounded soldiers.

"We got them all ready for war healthwise and then they left," she said.

While she didn't serve in combat, she knows the pain of war first hand. "It was hard because I know many of them didn't come back. But I did the best I could and got them all ready," she said.