• 64°

Mattress Firm manager starts Memorial Day wall

'Never forget'

Michael Chapman, manager of the Mattress Firm at 821 E. Innes St., started a wall at the store for Memorial Day for friends and families to post pictures and information about the loved ones they have lost who served in the armed forces.  Amanda Raymond/Salisbury Post

Michael Chapman, manager of the Mattress Firm at 821 E. Innes St., started a wall at the store for Memorial Day for friends and families to post pictures and information about the loved ones they have lost who served in the armed forces. Amanda Raymond/Salisbury Post

By Amanda Raymond

amanda.raymond@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Michael Chapman, manager of the Mattress Firm at 821 E. Innes St., and other Mattress Firm managers are allowed to decorate their stores for Memorial Day. This year, Chapman decided to do something different.

“Decorations are fine, but let’s do something meaningful,” he said.

Chapman designated one of the walls of his store as a memorial wall for families and friends to hang up pictures and biographical information of the loved ones they have lost who served in the armed forces.

He put up some pictures and quotes on Saturday to get the wall started, including a picture and biographical information about his brother, Staff Sgt. Christopher Chapman, who joined the Army in 1984 and became an airborne infantryman. He later transitioned into aviation. He was serving as crew chief during Operation Desert Storm in southwest Asia when he died in an aircraft crash after it encountered a sandstorm in February of 1991. He was awarded with the Air Medal with “V” device for his heroism that day, which included crewing the aircraft at “an extremely low altitude to evade air defense artillery threat,” according to the description.

Chapman said when someone loses a loved one in a war, it can feel as sudden as losing someone in a car accident.

“It makes an impact,” he said. “It changes their lives forever.”

Chapman said he wanted to start the wall to not only honor those lost serving in the armed forces but also to educate his employees and customers.

Memorial Day honors those who died serving in the Armed Forces, not to be confused with Veterans Day, which honors everyone who has served.

Chapman said that saying “Happy Memorial Day” can be insulting because Memorial Day is more of a solemn holiday.

“It’s a day to remember those servicemen who died for this country,” he said.

Though Chapman sees nothing wrong with Memorial Day sales and cookouts, he said there is something disheartening about the poorly attended Memorial Day ceremonies and events.

One of the quotes Chapman put up on the wall reads, “All gave some, some gave all. Gone, but never forgotten!”

“Unfortunately, I see that they’re being forgotten,” Chapman said.

He said it is important for families with children to attend the events so that younger generations can learn what Memorial Day is all about.

Chapman said if the wall is successful, he plans to pitch the idea to higher ups at Mattress Firm, and he also hopes other companies will find their own ways to honor the families who have lost loved ones in the armed forces.

Chapman will keep the pictures and biographical information up on the wall for a few weeks after Memorial Day. He said the more items he receives, the longer he will keep them up.

“If I can educate one person, then I think this was successful,” he said.

Drop off pictures and biographical information about lost loved ones at Mattress Firm at 821 E. Innes St. The loved ones do not have to be from Rowan County. The store is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. Call Chapman at 704-219-2484 for more information.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.

Comments

Crime

Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes

Crime

Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title

Local

Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game

Local

County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money

Business

Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury

News

At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’

Coronavirus

COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

Coronavirus

More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot

Local

City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year

Local

Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days

Crime

Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site

Local

City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide

Local

City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras

Education

Educators reflect on Teacher Appreciation Week

Education

Livingstone College wins $30,000 Home Depot grant

Education

Shoutouts

News

Shield-A-Badge With Prayer program enters 26th year, accepting volunteers to pair with officers

Education

COVID-19 infection, quarantine numbers in Rowan-Salisbury Schools reach new highs

High School

High school football: Offensive line came together for Hornets, who play for state title tonight

Local

Pro baseball: White makes pro debut and says, ‘It felt amazing to be out there’