LAWRENCEVILLE - Lawrenceville resident Willie Smith said Memorial Day has a new meaning for his family.
It's a day when they will remember the life of his brother, Sgt. 1st Class Donald Theronnie Tabb, who died Feb. 5 in Afghanistan during his fourth combat tour, Smith said.
"We all look forward to this day," Smith said. "It honors the service my brother did for his country."
Tabb's name was added Monday to the Gwinnett Fallen Heroes Memorial. During the ceremony, county officials thanked Tabb's family members for his service and sacrifice.
Retired Maj. Gen. Terry E. Juskowiak, a Sugar Hill resident, said some people associate Memorial Day with the beginning of summer or the opening of swimming pools.
"Many lament about the high cost of gas and what it has done to their weekend plans," Juskowiak said. "Instead, we should all think about the high costs of lives paid to keep us free."
Gwinnett County Commissioner Lorraine Green made similar remarks.
"Amidst all the pool openings, let's not forget the meaning and purpose of this special day," she said, "because it lies in saluting those men and women who gave their lives so we could stand here free."
Gwinnett County Commission Chairman Charles Bannister said the courage of those who died in combat will not be forgotten.
"For many, the fighting and dying is not over. Terrorism persists, but we cannot allow it to prevail," Bannister said. "This is the day to remember they (servicemen) paid the ultimate price in service to our country."
Smith said he, too, hopes on Memorial Day people remember the sacrifices servicemen made for our freedom.
As for the Fallen Heroes Memorial, he said it will be a great place for his family.
"It's a place that will help us remember," he said.