Honoring veterans

Members of Chapter 639 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart present the colors during a Veterans Day ceremony in 2018 at the Veterans Memorial in Bayview Cemetery in Morehead City. The ceremony this year will be about 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11, following a Day of Remembrance service that begins at 10:30 a.m. in the cemetery to honor three British sailors buried there who died in World War II. (Cheryl Burke photo)

The Morehead City Historical Preservation Society will sponsor two ceremonies Monday, Nov. 11, at Bayview Cemetery in Morehead City to honor not only American veterans, but three British sailors who were killed during World War II defending the county’s coast.

The first ceremony, a Day of Remembrance Service, will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the graves of the three British sailors. The sailors are buried in the cemetery on the west side of 20th Street.

At the closing of that ceremony, the group will walk across 20th Street to the Veterans Memorial, on the east side, to honor American veterans.

Morehead City Historical Preservation chairman Rodney Kemp said the organization wants to honor American veterans who are willing to die for their country, as well as the British sailors who gave their lives defending America and Carteret County.

“Our committee is extremely patriotic, and we want to honor all those who serve our nation, especially our American veterans and the British who helped us during World War II,” Mr. Kemp said.

A member of the British Consulate is expected to attend the ceremony this year, according to Mr. Kemp.

“The British Consulate sent us a British Navy Ensign flag, and that will be on display during the Day of Remembrance Service,” Mr. Kemp said.

He added that this year there will be two honor guards for the ceremony. One will be from Chapter 639 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart and the other will be from the U.S. Coast Guard stationed at Sector Field Office Fort Macon.

Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day, which marks the anniversary of the end of World War I, which formerly ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. It evolved into the Veterans Day holiday in 1954.

As for the British sailors who will be honored during the Day of Remembrance service, they died when their vessel, the San Delfino, an oil tanker, was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat offshore April 9, 1942, according to dates on the sailors’ graves and Mr. Kemp.

The names of the soldiers are: John L. Fisher, sailor Royal Navy, age 25; Maldwyn Jones, gunner, Royal Artillery, age 22; and unknown sailor, Royal Navy (speculated to be R. Wyatt).

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