Gay veterans hit on the true meaning of Memorial Day on Monday with a touching commemoration in Piedmont Park. No swimsuits, kegs and shots. Think flags, a wreath and the playing of “Taps.”
The annual event took on a special meaning this time around: It’s the first ceremony from the Georgia Chapter of American Veterans for Equal Rights since the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” ban on gays last fall. AVER, led by gay veteran Danny Ingram, celebrated that occasion during a “Retreat Ceremony” at the same site in September.
Ingram took center stage again on Monday. The longtime Atlanta resident was one of the first gay people booted from the military under DADT after President Clinton signed it into law in 1993. Ingram was one of a handful of gay veterans from Atlanta who were on hand in December 2010 when President Obama signed legislation repealing the ban.