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Remember all of our troops at events this Memorial Day

Gwinnett County sponsors so many Memorial Day celebrations that it's impossible to participate in all of them. But I'd like to think everyone can make it to at least one.

If other commitments kept you from viewing the art on the courthouse square in Lawrenceville or seeing the Silver Wings parachute demonstration at Suwanee Park, there's still time to get into the spirit. Today at

3 p.m, Task Force Patriot kicks off its "Salute to Veterans" at First Baptist Church in Lilburn with a display of more than 30 collector cars and hovercraft, plus free hot dogs, chips, drinks and dessert from Angel Food Ministries. Entertainment includes a variety of vocalists and guest speaker Brian Neal, who holds the record for the longest aerial combat mission in aviation history.

On Monday, you can enjoy concerts by the Gwinnett Community Band at 4 p.m. in Lilburn Park and the Jazz Guardians at 7:30 p.m. at Thrasher Park in Norcross. I specifically say "and" because they are timed so you can make it to both.

If you want to honor our fallen heroes in some way but scheduled events just don't fit into your lifestyle, just visit the city of Duluth. Each year, the Department of Public Works lines the streets with more than 500 markers and flags, representing those who served in the armed forces. These flags and markers will be on display for the rest of the week. And anyone, at anytime, can pay tribute to those who fought for our freedom at the Fallen Heroes Memorial at the Gwinnett County Courthouse.

The events of this weekend are meant to remember those who have died serving our country, but Operation Love From Home continually remembers those who presently put their lives on the line for our freedom. OLFH, founded by Kat Orr of Loganville, aims to send as many thank you notes as possible to our troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. The goal for the Fourth of July is 5,000 cards.

To help meet that goal, and to help raise money for postage, OLFH invites everyone to its first annual cookout and bake sale from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday at American Legion No. 233 on U.S. Highway 78 in Loganville. Local merchants donated all the food, and activities include a bounce house, face painting and an hourly cake walk. Most importantly, a booth where participants can sign cards for our troops is also included.

"May is Military Appreciation Month and we are hoping for a big turnout to show the troops how much they are appreciated," Orr said.

And if you can't make it to the festivities, you could at least send a card. The deadline is June 7. For more information, visit www.operationlovefromhome.com. Our troops would love to hear from you.

Susan Larson is a Lilburn resident. E-mail her at susanlarson4@yahoo.com.