While many Americans view Memorial Day weekend as the unofficial start to summer holidays, it’s real purpose is to remember, with gratitude, those veterans who died while in service.
There are several community opportunities to memorialize armed service members and our hope is that readers will take time this weekend to do so.
In Rolesville, the town, under the direction of Rolesville Mayor Frank Eagles, has completed work on a veterans monument at the intersection of South Main and Young streets.
The monument will be put in place and dedicated at a public ceremony Friday, at 9 a.m.
Wake Forest Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Post 8466 will decorate veterans’ graves in 15 local cemeteries with American flags. The public is welcome to join with local Boy Scout troops to help. Volunteers should gather at the American Legion Post at 225 E. Holding Ave. between 8 and 9 a.m. Saturday to receive flags and assignments. Refreshments will be available for volunteers.
The ever popular poppies, a symbol of solidarity with disabled American veterans, will be given to shoppers at the Wake Forest Walmart from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
At 11 a.m. on Memorial Day (Monday), a solemn ceremony will take place at the Wake Forest Veterans’ Memorial located on the grounds of the Heritage Golf Course Club House, 1250 Heritage Club Ave.
The ceremony will include patriotic music, singing of the national anthem, presentations from various Wake Forest civic veteran groups, a ceremonial wreath laying and playing of Taps. Ample parking will be available alongside the memorial.
Also on Memorial Day, two flag-raising ceremonies will take place at local retirement homes. The first is at 7:30 a.m. at The Lodge at Wake Forest, 1151 S. Main St.
The second is at 1:30 p.m. at The Gardens at Wakefield Plantation, 12800 Spruce Tree Way, Raleigh.
Both events are open to the public.
Franklinton American Legion Post 52 will lead memorial ceremonies in Franklin County starting Saturday at 9 a.m. Veterans and the public are invited to help place flags on veterans’ graves in the Fairview cemetery in Franklinton.
Sunday will be the Memorial Day program, also in the Fairview Cemetery at 2 p.m.
Whatever you decide to do, we hope you and your families will take time to remember those who paid the ultimate price for life, liberty and freedom to pursue happiness in this beloved nation we call home.