Memorial Day program at National Cemetery

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 27, 2011

SALISBURY — Men and women who have given their lives in service to the nation, and those who are serving now, will be remembered with Memorial Day services Monday.
A wreath-laying ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. at the Salisbury National Cemetery on Military Avenue. Participants will then travel to the National Cemetery Annex behind the Hefner VA Medical Center on Brenner Avenue for a program to begin at 10 a.m.
The ceremony will be held at the main flagpole committal shelter. The program has been organized to remember and honor all military members have served or are currently serving the nation.
Sgt. First Class Charles Hannel will be the keynote speaker in the ceremony.
In Kannapolis, the Beaver-Pittman Post No. 115 will host the annual Memorial Day ceremony beginning at 11 a.m. in Village Park with patriotic music from local artists.
At 11:45 a.m., veterans of all wars will parade from the activity building at the park to the amphitheater for the ceremony.
The ceremony will begin at noon and there will be a special POW/MIA remembrance service during the event. The guest speaker will be Col. Hector Henry, one of three doctors over the age of 70 who came out of retirement to serve in Iraq after Sept. 11, 2001.
For more information about the Kannapolis service, contact Jimmy Wilson with Beaver-Pittman Post No. 115 at 704-933-8249.
Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. soldiers who died while in the military service.
First enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the Civil War, it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.
The preferred name for the holiday gradually changed from “Decoration Day” to “Memorial Day,” which was first used in 1882. It did not become common until after World War II, and was not declared the official name by federal law until 1967.
Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries and memorials. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. local time. Another tradition is to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff from dawn until noon local time.
For more information call John T. Spruyt, director of the National Cemetery, at 704-636-2661.