On a bright, warm day in Yadkin County residents gathered to honor those who’ve risked or sacrificed their lives to serve their country.
Yadkin County held its annual Memorial Day services at the Yadkin County Park on May 27.
Chuck Knight, Yadkin County Veteran’s Affairs Administrator, led the Memorial Day ceremony.
Branches of the U.S. military were represented by the post of branch colors by their respective veterans.
The U.S. Army colors were posted by Rick Matthews, retired Army Warrant Officer and Vietnam veteran.
Larry Adams, a Vietnam veteran, posted U.S. Navy colors.
U.S. Air Force colors were posted by Pete Knight, a Gulf War veteran.
Randy Ellington, a retired Marine Master Sergeant and a veteran of the Gulf War, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom presented the US Marine Corps colors.
The U.S. Coast Guard colors were posted by Jim Gant, a World War II and Korean War veteran.
Rick Taylor, commander of American Legion Post 505, took to the podium to remind the audience what the holiday weekend is all about.
“Too often we fail to remember those who gave their life or those living today bearing the scars and the memories of their commitment,” Taylor said. “Those who died securing peace and freedom and those who served in conflicts to protect our land and sacrificed their dreams of today to preserve our hope for our nation, keeping America the land of the free for over two centuries. We owe them thanks and honor.
“It is important to not only recognize their service but to respect their devotion and duty to ensure that purpose for which they have fought will never be forgotten,” Taylor continued.
David Shore, American Legion Division 4 Commander and Post 336 Commander, spoke and asked that all veterans who had been awarded a Purple Heart or parents who received a Gold Heart reach out to Veterans Services of Yadkin County so that they could be honored in a ceremony in Winston-Salem on Aug. 3, 2013.
Shore also noticed the oldest veteran in attendance. Alton Ridgeway, a 95-year-old member of the East Bend American Legion Post, was recognized.
Shore also noted that 2013 marks the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, 150th anniversary of the Civil War, 70th anniversary of World War II, 60th anniversary of the Korean War, 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, 30th anniversary of the Lebanon and Grenada Wars, 20th anniversary of the Somalia War and the 10th anniversary since the start if the Iraq War.
“That adds up to a lot of American lives to remember on this day,” Shore said. “Few reminders are necessary for those of us in older generations and younger who have actually served in uniform. As we all know our segment of the population is rapidly dwindling. So it is incumbent on us to instill in the youngest Americans a reverence for the losses of war.
“On Memorial Day 2013 let’s remind our co-workers, neighbors, friends and family members of these people,” Shore continued. “They were young Americans that lived lives that were only beginning and were cut short so the rest of us could pursue our dreams.”
Knight then awarded certificates from the state to veterans still living who served in the Korean War.
Certificates were given to Herbert Burchess, Virgil Flynn, Dwight Trivette, Joseph Brannon, Hubert Gregory, Hoyt Shore and Jefferson Davis.
The “Bivouac of the Dead” was then recited before a reading of every name of every soldier from Yadkin County whose life was lost in battle.
Following the recitation of names, Knight asked all veterans to come to the front to allow the audience to see how many people in their community have served their country.
As they lined the front of the Veterans Memorial they turned to honor the placing of the wreath by the Ladies Auxiliary and the lowering of the flag to half-staff.
Honor Guard performed a 21-gun salute and TAPS before ending the ceremony.
Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.