FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Various events were held throughout Central North Carolina on Monday in honor of Memorial Day.
Hundreds gathered in Fayetteville for the annual Memorial Day Ceremony. Today’s ceremony at Freedom Memorial Park lasted a little more than an hour. “Amazing Grace” rendered by the Mournful Bagpipes set the tone for reflection.
More than 500 people attended today’s ceremony, a ceremony for families to honor loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Army veteran Kevin Alkins said “It’s a family thing, my grandpa served, my dad served, and I served and my grandchildren are serving.”
Today’s program included prayers and special tributes to those fallen. Vietnam Veteran Billy Rhodes served for 34 years.
“Some of them died while we were in Vietnam for ambushes, getting killed, and others as we have aged,” Rhodes said.
Every Memorial Day, Rhodes remembers 28 of his Vietnam comrades who are no longer living. It’s the special memories that make him proud.
Rhodes said, “When they would get a special package from home all the way in Vietnam, the cookies were stale but we enjoyed them, we shared them (and) we enjoyed them.”
Tributes like the “missing man table,” honoring soldiers whose bodies haven’t been found, and wreaths at each of the memorials were ways to say thank you.
The day was also a recommitment for service members and their families to remain vigilant.
Rhodes said, “Terrorists never take a day off. They never take a day off so those young men and women that are on active duty now, my hat goes off to them.”