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Fallen heroes honored at Memorial Day services across Triangle

Posted May 26, 2014

— Memorial Day services were held Monday in the Triangle and across the country as people remember the men and women who made the supreme sacrifice for their country.

Hundreds of people came to a memorial service at Freedom Memorial Park in Fayetteville to honor their fallen heroes as well as troops who are currently fighting overseas.

World War II veteran Ed Middleton said he puts on his uniform every year and attends the service to honor his friends lost in war.

"It's always something missing when you know someone, particularly who was either missing in action or died as a result of action," Middleton said. "There is sort of a soft spot in your heart for that."

In Raleigh, several hundred people attended a ceremony at the State Capitol that featured a bagpiper, a Marine Corps color guard and a wreath-laying ceremony at a monument honoring North Carolina veterans.

Brig. Gen. Gary Thomas led the service, thanking those who paid the ultimate price for their country. 

"We mourn the loss of our buddies, we are grateful that we knew them. We vow to never forget them and we endeavor to be worthy of their sacrifice," Thomas said. 

In Holly Springs, residents shared in a historical and meaningful Memorial Day as a piece of steel from the World Trade Center was brought to Veterans Park.

An honor motorcade and the family of U.S. Marine Maj. Sam Griffith, who was killed in action in Afghanistan two years ago, brought the steel to its new home at the top of the “War on Terror” monument.

The steel piece was provided to the Griffith family for inclusion in the monument that Griffith’s 17-year-old brother is developing for Veterans Park as his Eagle Scout project.

In Garner, about 300 people attended a ceremony held at the Garner Veterans Memorial where over 100 veterans received special recognition for their service.

Cemeteries across the state also served as the sobering backdrop to Memorial Day services.

A wreath-laying ceremony sponsored by the American Legion Post 157 was held at the Carolina Biblical Gardens in Raleigh to honor Wake County native Charles Irving Jr.

Earlier Monday, President Barack Obama led the nation in commemorating Memorial Day, declaring the United States has reached "a pivotal moment" in Afghanistan with the end of war approaching by year's end.

Obama appeared at the Arlington National Cemetery's amphitheater to speak after carrying out the traditional presidential wreath-laying, surrounded by troops in formal dress and hearing the playing of Taps.


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