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WAVES of World War II to lead Dacula parade

The city of Dacula will pay tribute to U.S. veterans and their families during its 17th annual Memorial Day parade Monday.

Grand marshals for this year's parade are WAVES of World War II -- Women Appointed for Volunteer Emergency Service -- represented by Kathleen Edison, United States Marine Corps, and Marie Lawrence and Leah Vaughn, U.S. Navy.

Under the theme, "Respect, Honor, Remember," the parade will step off at 10 a.m. from Hebron Baptist Church, proceed down Dacula Road, take a right on Second Avenue and end at Dacula High School.

This year's parade is the largest ever, drawing 150 entries with 2,000 individuals expected to participate. For Dacula resident Marvin Atherton, who built the vision of the parade in 1993, it has continued to be a means for Gwinnett residents to remember and honor those who have given their lives in military service.

"Lots of people don't even know when Memorial Day is and what I tried to do is re-instill what Memorial Day is all about," Atherton said, "especially into the children, the little ones, because people of today, they're too busy and everything is going on and they take for granted what we have. I'm just trying to do my part to let them remember what Memorial Day is even just for a couple of hours."

Gwinnett residents are also invited to attend a Memorial Day ceremony Monday honoring Gwinnett's military heroes.

The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. at the Gwinnett Fallen Heroes Memorial on the grounds of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center in Lawrenceville and is held annually to honor past and present military men and women and public service personnel. A

Guest speaker Maj. Gen. James W. Nuttall, deputy commanding general for the First Army, based in Forest Park, will give this year's keynote address.