Loganville will come to a standstill this afternoon as the community prepares to say goodbye to one of its finest sons.
The family of a Loganville Airman killed in Afghanistan will be escorted through town at 4:30 p.m. on their way to his Memorial Service. Maj. W. David Gray, 38, was killed when a suicide bomb was detonated in the Kundar Providence of Afghanistan on Aug. 8. He leaves behind a wife and three young children.
His formal funeral was held on Friday, Aug. 18 in Colorado Springs, Colo. He will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery in Northern Virginia on Friday, Aug. 24. A Memorial Sevice at Loganville First Baptist Church is scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight.
The family will be escorted by Loganville Police Department to the Memorial Service site at about 4:30 p.m. Friends of the family are asking for local people to show their support by lining Highway 78 from Old Loganville Road to Highway 81 south.
Many businesses along the route will be displaying support by lowering flags to half mast and messages on marquee signs.
Former classmates of Gray's days at Loganville High School are planning to gather in the Kroger parking lot for this afternoon's procession, according to fellow class of '92 alum Carolyn Woods. Gray roamed the halls from 1988 till his graduation in 1992.
This is not the first time Loganville will show an outpouring of support for it's military families. In August 2005, residents massed from Snellville, through Loganville, to the Youth burial site of 23-year-old Army Sgt. Mike Stokely. Last December, the community once again showed up to see injured Sgt. Mark Allen home.
Friends ask that the public and media respect the family's privacy by allowing them to gather privately between the procession and the service.