The county is getting ready to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country with several Memorial Day ceremonies.
This year, Memorial Day falls on Monday, May 27. The Carteret County Veterans Service Office will host its annual service of remembrance Saturday, May 25.
Normally the ceremony is conducted at the Carteret County Veterans Memorial at the Courthouse Square in Beaufort but will be held at a different location this year.
Due to the unpredictability of the weather, organizers decided to hold the event at Glad Tidings Church in Morehead City.
Though the event is in a new location, the meaning behind the ceremony is still the same.
“It was said by President John F. Kennedy, that… ‘a nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers,’” said Hank Gotard, veterans service officer with the Carteret County Veterans Services, in a letter of invitation to county residents. “These poignant words capture the spirit that is this national holiday. We really hope that you will be able to join us at this service. We believe that it will be spiritually rewarding.”
The service begins at 10 a.m., but there will be a musical prelude starting at 9:30 a.m. presented by the Havelock Community Band.
Award-winning songwriter and musician Angela Baker will provide patriotic music. Ms. Baker has been recognized by the N.C. Veterans Association for her volunteer services honoring North Carolina veterans.
Also providing patriotic music will be the Carolina East Singers, directed by Susan Bailey.
The guest speakers for this year’s service will be Sen. Norman Sanderson, R-Pamlico (Carteret, Craven). A sermon will not be included in this year’s ceremony.
As well as the service of remembrance, various American Legion posts will host ceremonies.
American Legion Post 203 of Newport will host its Memorial Day service at 11 a.m. May 27 at town hall, which is at 200 Howard Blvd.
American Legion Post 46 of Morehead City will host a Memorial Day ceremony at 10 a.m. May 27 at the Veterans Memorial in Bayview Cemetery.
According to history.com, Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. It originated in the years after the Civil War, honoring the lives of those who died during the war.
However, during World War I, when the U.S. became involved in another major conflict, the holiday evolved to honor all American military members who died in all wars.
It became a federal holiday in 1971; however, the holiday wasn’t always observed on the last Monday in May.
According to the site, “For decades, Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30, the date (Gen. John A.) Logan, (leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans,) had selected for the first Decoration Day. But in 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which established Memorial Day as the last Monday in May in order to create a three-day weekend for federal employees; the change went into effect in 1971. The same law also declared Memorial Day a federal holiday.”
Many people around the country observe the holiday with parades, by visiting cemeteries and memorials and by wearing a red poppy, a tradition that began with the World War I poem, “In Flanders Field.”