12/11/13 — Wreaths will go on veterans' graves

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Wreaths will go on veterans' graves

By Steve Herring
Published in News on December 11, 2013 1:46 PM

PIKEVILLE -- The public is invited to a Saturday ceremony at the town cemetery to pay tribute to the 116 veterans interred there.

The noon ceremony is one of the hundreds of Wreaths Across America events being held simultaneously Saturday at cemeteries across the country.

Another ceremony will be held at the same time at Evergreen Cemetery on U.S. 70 west of Goldsboro.

The program began some years ago when a Maine man decided veterans should be remembered at Christmas as well as at other designated times during the year.

A non-profit organization was formed and branches of Wreaths Across America sprang up across the country. The stated mission of the national organization is "Remember, Honor, Teach."

The Pikeville program is being sponsored by Pikeville American Legion Post 541.

"We are looking for a big turnout," Post Commander James Carter said. "We are expecting to have a good time out there."

The post met its goal of having enough wreaths purchased to place one on each of the veterans' graves in the cemetery.

An honor guard from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base will post the colors for the program.

The Snow Hill American Legion Ladies Auxiliary will perform Christmas carols and patriotic music. A bagpipe player will perform and taps will be played.

The Evergreen Cemetery ceremony also will feature an honor guard from Seymour Johnson, as well as other military and local civic groups. There are approximately 450 veterans buried at Evergreen.

American Legion Post 541 meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Pikeville Community Center. Veterans are invited, and are encouraged to join the organization.