Brothers Lamonta Stroud and Richard Slater were honored for their brave attempts to save the lives of four children who perished in a fire in January. The brothers were presented Tuesday night with a proclamation declaring Feb. 5, 2013 as Lamonta Stroud and Richard Slater Appreciation Day. The children's mother, Reeba Glass, was on hand to witness the presentation. Shown following the proclamation, left to right, are Commissioner Oz Nesbitt, Rockdale Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief Joel Yoder, Commissioner JaNice Van Ness, Pastor Billie Cox of Macedonia Baptist Church, Lamonta Stroud, Reeba Glass, Richard Slater, Jean Yontz, Commission Chairman Richard Oden and Fire Chief Dan Morgan. Yontz was recognized as being instrumental in having the proclamation presented. Staff Photo
CONYERS -- Two young men were honored for their bravery at the Rockdale Board of Commissioner's work session Tuesday night. Commissioners signed a proclamation designating Feb. 5, 2013 as Lamonta Stroud and Richard Slater Appreciation Day for their heroic attempts to save four children from a burning house in January.
The two brothers, who live in the Pinedale neighborhood where the fatal fire took place, made several attempts to reach the children but were prevented by the flames that engulfed the house on the night of Jan. 8. Killed in the blaze were Ah'Dariya Glass, 9, Dar'Shawn Glass, 7, Armoni Roberts, 3, and Deon Glass, 8 months. Their mother, Reeba Glass, 6-year-old brother and grandmother were able to escape.
The proclamation recognizes the two brothers as "fearless and determined to do all they could within their capability to try and save the lives of the children of Ms. Reeba Glass."
"Rockdale County is tremendously honored to be the home of such admirable young heroes and truly appreciates Lamonta and Richard for their efforts and courage on that fateful night," the proclamation reads.
Stroud, 18, a senior at Rockdale County High School, was noted for his volunteer efforts in the community and his work to help young people and the disabled. Slater, 20, an RCHS graduate, was noted for his athletic ability and his plans to serve in the U.S. military.
Reeba Glass, who was present for the proclamation, spoke briefly, thanking the Rockdale community for the support shown her family in the wake of the tragedy.
"If I could trade it all in I would, just to see my babies smile again," she said. "But it's an act of God, and you can't question it. So thank you, thank you, thank you."
Slater and Stroud quietly thanked the county for the honor.
In closing comments at the end of the meeting Chairman Richard Oden noted that Slater and Stroud's grandmother, Barbara Pearl Jones, was the youngest woman to ever win an Olympic gold medal in track and field. She was 15 when she competed in the 1952 Summer Olympics and won the gold in the 4 x 100 meter relay. She also won a gold medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics in the 4 x 100 meter relay.
"It is no surprise that that kind of courage runs in the family," Oden said of the two brothers.