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UDC patriotic service Saturday at Rowan Public Library

SALISBURY — The public is invited to a patriotic service at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Stanback Auditorium of the Rowan Public Library, 201 W. Fisher St. Members of the Robert F. Hoke Chapter No. 78, United Daughters of the Confederacy, will honor eight veterans whose ancestors served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

Government, state, and POW-MIA flags will be displayed as well as those of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard.

The UDC has a long history of honoring those who served. In 1898 the organization resolved that every Confederate veteran should receive a medal. This small bronze medal in the shape of a Maltese Cross was known as “The Southern Cross of Honor,” and the first was bestowed in 1900.

By 1913 there were 78,761 awarded, with the last being presented posthumously in 1959 to Rear Admiral Raphael Semmes, CSN. A replica of a Southern Cross will be displayed Saturday.

In 1922 the UDC began recognizing lineal descendants of Confederate veterans who served during other war periods. Most of the Crosses of Military Service now being bestowed by the UDC are for veterans of World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War and the global war on terror, although a few remain for World War I veterans.

“Patriotic” and “Memorial” are two of the five objectives of the UDC. In April the chapter honored all the veterans attending the 19th Annual Salisbury Confederate Prison Symposium and held a memorial service for the POWs who died at the Salisbury Prison and the Salisbury Prison guards who died while on duty.

In addition to the May 14 Bestowal Service the Hoke Chapter recognizes in May veterans and their families on May 10, North Carolina Confederate Memorial Day; May 21, Armed Forces Day; and May 27, Memorial Day.

Eight veterans who served in the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force will receive Crosses of Military Service or National Defense Medals during the Bestowal Service. They are:

• Calvin Griff Haigler of Denver, N.C., who served in the U.S. Navy with Co. A, 59th Construction Battalion, will receive a World War II Cross of Military Service. His great-grandfather, Paul Haigler Jr., enlisted at age 32 in Union County in August 1862 and served in Co. I, 48th Regiment, NC Infantry. He was wounded at Sharpsburg, Md., in 1862 and near Cold Harbor, Va., in 1864 and served until April 9, 1865, Appomattox, Va.

• Lucious Ray Bost of Salisbury, who served in the U.S. Navy on the USS Landing Ship Tank 1083 and 584 will receive a World War II Cross of Military Service. His great-grandfather, William Harris Cranford, enlisted at age 28 in Rowan County in February 1862 and served in Co. D, 10th Regiment NCST (1st Regiment NC Artillery), which by September 1863 was known as Ramsay’s Battery for 1st Lt. John A. Ramsay of Salisbury.  He was captured at Amelia Court House, Va., in April 1865 and was a POW at Point Lookout, Md., until June 1865.

• John Edward Gray of Mount Ulla,  who served in the U.S. Army in the 31st Regiment, will receive a Korean Cross of Military Service. His great-grandfather, Hugh Southerland, enlisted at age 17 in Duplin County  in October 1863 and served in Co. A, 51st Regiment, NC Infantry. He was paroled at Greensboro in May 1865.

• Ray McKinnley Crook of Lexington, who served in the U. S. Air Force in Aircrew Survival and Protective Equipment, will receive a Vietnam Conflict National Defense Medal. His great-great grandfather, Enoch Briggs, born in 1827, joined Co. I, 14th NC Infantry, which was raised in Davidson County. He was paroled at Greensboro in May 1865.

• Jerry Dell Brown of China Grove, who served in the U.S. Army in the 502 Combat Engineering, will receive a Vietnam Conflict National Defense Medal. His great-grandfather, Hugh Marion Gentry, enlisted in Henderson, Texas, in February 1862 and served in Co. B, 11th  (Robert’s Regiment) TX Infantry, until the summer of 1865.

• Gary Wayne Ramsey of Salisbury, who served in the U.S. Army with the 984th Land Clearing Company Rome Plows, will receive a Vietnam Conflict Cross of Military Service. His great-great-great grandfather, Wiley Levi Beaver of Rowan County, age 37, enlisted at New Market, Va., in October 1864 in Co. F, 57th Regiment, NC Infantry. He was captured at Farmville, Va., in April 1865 and was a POW at Newport News, Va., until June 1865.

• Kenneth Ray Sellers of Kannapolis, who served in the U.S. Navy with the Naval Air Facility, will receive a Vietnam Conflict National Defense Medal. His great-great- grandfather, William Braddock Sellers, enlisted at Chesterfield, S.C., in June 1863 in Co. D, 6th (Aikens Regiment) SC Calvary. He was captured in December 1864 at Armstrongs Mills, Va., and was a POW at Point Lookout, Md., until June 1865.

• Robert Alan Sweatt of Gold Hill, who served in the U.S. Air Force with the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing will receive a Vietnam Conflict National Defense Medal. His great-great grandfather, George Washington Turner, enlisted May 1862 in Anson Count at age 27 and served in Co. A, 59th Regiment NCT (4th Regiment NC Cavalry). He was wounded in October 1863 at Brandy Station, Va.

The chapter will kick off its annual collection of personal care items for the hospitalized veterans at the Salisbury Hefner VA Medical Center on Saturday.

Items such as shampoo, liquid soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, razor blades and shaving cream will be turned over to the VA Voluntary Service Office for the veterans.

Anyone interested in contributing to these veterans may bring donations to the May 14 Bestowal Service or contact the Hoke Chapter at southpaws@fibrant.com or PO Box 83, Salisbury, NC 28145-0083.

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