02/24/12 — Veterans get head start on Memorial Day plans

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Veterans get head start on Memorial Day plans

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on February 24, 2012 1:46 PM

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Wayne County Veterans and Patriots Coalition President Bill Graham, right, talks Thursday about what programming the organization is planning to offer Memorial Day weekend.

Some watched comrades fall in Vietnam.

Others have attended funeral services for those World War II veterans time simply caught up with.

They don't need a holiday to remember the brothers and sisters they have lost.

So it seemed fitting that Thursday, more than three months shy of Memorial Day, members of the Wayne County Veterans and Patriots Coalition were talking about the events they execute annually in honor of those who won't be among them this year.

And when Bill Graham, the organization's president, asked them what they thought about his idea for the theme of the 2012 program, "Lest we forget," each nodded his or her head.

"I think that sounds real nice," said Bill Carr, a retired Marine and Vietnam veteran. "I'd like to see us go with that."

An 8 a.m. breakfast at the American Legion Post 11 headquarters will kick off the three-day remembrance Saturday, May 26.

And after the meal -- ham biscuits, doughnuts and more will be offered to those who attend -- American flags will be passed out and placed next to the graves of more than 3,000 veterans.

Graham is hoping for a record turnout -- that people will, as hundreds have in the past, join the Coalition that morning.

And he hopes their enthusiasm carries over to the Monday afternoon service that, just two years ago, drew a crowd that filled Moffatt Auditorium.

No keynote speaker or Gold Star family member has yet been booked for the Memorial Day program -- set for Monday, May 28, at Wayne Community College.

But a video tribute to the fallen has been selected, one Graham characterized as "very moving."