Pandemic doesn't halt Memorial Day observances in Fayetteville
Posted May 25, 2020 11:49 a.m. EDT
Updated May 25, 2020 2:12 p.m. EDT
Fayetteville, N.C. — Although no scheduled Memorial Day observance was held Monday because of the coronavirus pandemic, that didn't stop people from gathering for an impromptu service.
The Fayetteville Independent Light Infantry Company laid wreaths at Freedom Memorial Park and read the names of those from Cumberland County who died during World War I and World World II.
Mark Jones a former member of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, said he was planning to visit a couple of area cemeteries to play Taps when he stumbled upon the gathering at Freedom Memorial Park and volunteered to pitch in and help.
First Sgt. Jimmy Covas ran 15 miles from Rockfish Church on Raeford Road to the "Iron Mike" statue at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville while carrying an American flag, while Mario Rivera also carried a flag as he ran 22 laps around the museum to symbolize that a veteran takes his or her own life every 22 days.
"For me, it's just an honor to carry this flag," Rivera said.
"It was an emotional feeling," Covas said. "There was a couple of times when it felt like my heart came up to my chest, to my throat, and I had to swallow it. I just wanted to bust down a couple of times, but it's an honor. It's a great privilege to wear these flags and carry it."
Meanwhile, a group of volunteers from Fayetteville spent their Memorial Day morning working hard to honor fallen soldiers from Fort Bragg.
The 15 volunteers are members of Camp Ground United Methodist Church, who put out 382 "Cross & Flag" markers in the front yard of their church.
Each cross has the name of a fallen hero from Fort Bragg, who made the ultimate sacrifice for the peace and freedom of the world.
"We all are eternally owed to their love and commitment to this nation and the world," wrote Camp Ground UMC on their social media page.
The church invites guests to stop by and pay tribute to the fallen heroes during the next two weeks.
"May God bless those fallen heroes/heroines and their families. May God bless the USA!" wrote the church.