05/24/11 — Veterans to mark Memorial Day with events

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Veterans to mark Memorial Day with events

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on May 24, 2011 1:46 PM

For those local residents who have lost a loved one to war, this weekend is about far more than afternoon cookouts and trips to the beach.

Memorial Day, they say, is another opportunity to remember the beloved sons, daughters, wives, husbands, brothers and sisters cut down in their prime.

So as members of the Wayne County Veterans and Patriots Coalition make their final preparations for a weekend of events meant to honor those who died for the cause of freedom, they are urging the public to help ensure those who never made it home are never forgotten.

Starting Saturday, public ceremonies and private vigils will be held from Mount Olive to Goldsboro.

And Coalition president Bill Graham said he feels certain that his fellow residents won't let the fallen down.

"I feel like this year is not going to leave us disappointed," he said.

The following events are currently scheduled:

* Saturday, 8 a.m. -- Breakfast at the American Legion, Post 11 Headquar-ters: The public is invited to join local veterans, Boy Scouts and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base airmen for breakfast at the Legion. Following the meal, those in attendance will break up into groups and place some 4,000 flags on the graves of county veterans.

* Sunday, 3 p.m. -- Memorial Day Service at Maplewood Cemetery: This event, sponsored by the Mount Olive Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 9959, will feature keynote speaker Hugh Howard, a former POW who, during World War II, spent several months in a German prison camp.

* Monday, 11 a.m. -- Memorial Day Service at Wayne Community College's Moffatt Auditorium: Hosted by the Veterans and Patriots Coalition, this event will feature keynote speaker Col. Patrick Doherty, the 4th Fighter Wing commander. Last year, hundreds of local residents turned out for the program, which includes a slide show and wreath laying.

* Monday, 3 p.m. -- National Moment of Silence: The nation will pause at 3 p.m. for a moment of reflection and prayer dedicated to those who have lost their lives in combat.