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Officials commemorate anniversary of Fallen Heroes Memorial

File Photo: Brendan Sullivan Jennifer Madden of Alpharetta makes a rubbing of her brother's name, Joseph "Ryan" Giese, concluding the Memorial  Day Ceremony at the Gwinnett Fallen Heroes Memorial  in Lawrenceville. Marine Joseph "Ryan" Giese, resided in Lawrenceville and died in January 2011 while serving in Afghanistan.

File Photo: Brendan Sullivan Jennifer Madden of Alpharetta makes a rubbing of her brother's name, Joseph "Ryan" Giese, concluding the Memorial Day Ceremony at the Gwinnett Fallen Heroes Memorial in Lawrenceville. Marine Joseph "Ryan" Giese, resided in Lawrenceville and died in January 2011 while serving in Afghanistan.

LAWRENCEVILLE -- A decade ago, Memorial Day was both "exciting and sobering," Chairwoman Charlotte Nash said, remembering the dedication of the Gwinnett Fallen Heroes Memorial.

After years of fundraising and planning, mostly by volunteers Ron and Carolyn Buice, the granite slabs on the property of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center became a local reminder of those that gave their lives for their country, from the French and Indian Wars to present day.

Over the past 10 years, too many names have been added to the memorial, after the global war on terrorism and other tragedies. Nash said one of the most emotional ceremonies was when the names of three transportation employees' names were added after they were struck on a construction scene.

"I believe that the Gwinnett Fallen Heroes Memorial is one of the most beautiful and moving tributes of its kind anywhere," Nash, who was the county administrator when the monument was dedicated. "I am extremely proud of it," she added, giving credit to the Buices and then Chairman Wayne Hill.

On Monday, officials will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the memorial, while once again remembering the heroes whose names are etched on the slabs.

At the 1 p.m. ceremony, honor guard units from the Gwinnett County Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Sheriff's Departments and the Lawrenceville Police Department will participate, and Brig. Gen. Dan Kaufman, who is transitioning from president of Georgia Gwinnett College to president of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, will give the keynote address.