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Honoring The Fallen: 3 NC Communities Share How They'll Spend Memorial Day

A field of flags outside the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, NC.
Gerry Dincher
Flickr/Creative Commons
A field of flags outside the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, NC.

It's Memorial Day: A holiday when many residents gather to remember those who died while serving in the US Military.

Communities across the state have their own way to honor the fallen.


Joe Leonard organizes the annual parade in Thomasville. He says they take the event one step further.

"We honor all veterans, past and present. We honor families who have had someone killed in action from across North Carolina. They come here and they are honored on Memorial Day," Leonard says. "Thomasville is one of the most patriotic communities that you can visit anywhere."

Leonard says there are no commercial vendors at today's free event. Parachuters will land with an enormous American flag. After the parade, Lieutenant Governor Dan Forrest will speak before the prayer service and wreath-laying.


The non-profit Military Missions in Action is working to serve retired service members in North Carolina. The group offers care packages to homeless veterans and sponsors home modifications for those with disabilities.

Military Missions will make a presentation in the Field of Honor at Raleigh's Historic Oakwood Cemetery today.

Former Army Staff Sergeant Beth Cassels-Anderson will speak during the Memorial Day service. She says it's important to serve veterans.

"Giving back to those that are still here can honor those who paid that price, who gave that sacrifice for us."

World War Two Army Nurse Betsy Hutchison will also lay a wreath at the veterans memorial there.


The Battleship North Carolina is celebrating its 50th annual Memorial Day observance.

US Sen. Richard Burr will speak at today's the event, which includes music by a military band.

The battleship is now is a state memorial to World War Two veterans, and the 10,000 North Carolinians who died during that war.

Where and how will you commemorate Memorial Day? Tell us in the comments section.

Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.
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