Local News

These Americans Pause to Remember, Honor

Posted May 26, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— "We had ancestors in the Revolutionary War. We've had relatives and friends in all the wars since." With those words, Hazel Dodson explains the meaning of Memorial Day to her. Although none of her family's relatives is buried at Raleigh's National Cemetery, she was on hand to deliver a wreath in honor of all veterans.

Remembering all branches of the military, all war veterans and all the things they did while they served our country -- those memories are the purpose of Memorial Day observances across the nation.

Mayola Winston, who participated in the event, said she feels the ceremonies are very important because she has relatives buried at the cemetery and she has also become active in veterans' activities.

She, and others, who came for the observances agree there is no limit to the number of lives touched by veterans, and that their sacrifices provide important lessons for young people.

Most of the events have been staged, but Monday night at 6 there will be one more. At Durham's Maplewood Cemetery, 1621 Duke University Rd., a ceremony will be sponsored by American Legion Post 7. The speaker will be Vietnam War veteran Larry Stogner.

On the national level, at 3 p.m. Eastern time, Americans are being asked to take moment to remember our war dead.

The group No Greater Love calls it a "Nationwide Moment of Remembrance." It will be marked by the playing of "Taps" across the country, followed by a moment of silence.

No Greater Love founder Carmella LaSpada says she wants to put the "memorial" back into Memorial Day. She says too often, Memorial Day is seen as just a day off work, rather than a day to remember those who gave their lives so the rest of us could be free.

LaSpada says baseball stadiums, race tracks, casinos, airports and retailers are among those who have agreed to the moment of silence. And Amtrak's 200 passenger trains will sound their horns.