Local veteran recognizes true meaning of Memorial Day
Posted May 26, 2013
Updated May 28, 2013
Memorial Day – it's the unofficial start of summer and a time for beach vacations and cookouts with hot dogs, hamburgers and all the works.
But courage and patriotism are the true condiments that give the holiday so much flavor.
Dating back to the Civil War, its true meaning is to recognize and remember the servicemen and women who died while serving the United States in the nation's Armed Forces.
They're the fallen comrades of veterans like Joe Hale, of Raleigh.
In the Air Force for nearly 30 years, Hale served during World War II.
The West Point graduate, who once taught at North Carolina State University, says that without the sacrifices of those who served, Americans would not have the liberties they have today.
And that's what he will remember this holiday weekend.
"It's a memory of what we went through and the sacrifices people made and the people we lost who were killed in combat," Hale said Sunday from his home at Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community in Raleigh. "It's not a cookout time for me. It's just a time for memory. It forces you to stop and think about what happened."
For the 82nd year, Raleigh Post 1 of the American Legion held a service Sunday at Raleigh National Cemetery to pay tribute to fallen service members.
In Fayetteville, at Festival Park, the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra held a free concert, featuring the Army Ground Forces Band and several patriotic pieces.