Patriotism rang loud and clear at Wilmington National Cemetery this Memorial Day. From every angle, every flag, flower, and shirt beamed red, white, and blue. "It just shows a lot of patriotism and to see that that's still alive in a community is a great thing, especially as a veteran myself,” said Frank Roberts of the NHC Veterans Council. For some, it was an emotional day. "These people gave their lives,” said Gil Navarrette. But behind the tears, was a whole lot of pride. "It’s just always beautiful here in the city of Wilmington; it's just beautiful to see our citizens respond and take time out of their busy schedules and their busy days and on this beautiful weekend to come out here and reflect and that's a beautiful thing,” said Mayor Bill Saffo. The names of 426 veterans were read to honor those in our region who have passed away since last Memorial Day. "This is one country who's fought many wars to preserve and protect democracy, and I salute all veterans past, present, and future,” said Vietnam veteran Jim Greene. Community members sat among the 5,600 gravesites, some going back to the Civil War, to salute those who served and are still serving who hold a special place in our hearts. "We're just so thankful to live in a country like America which truly is the greatest country in the world,” said James Faison III of Wilmington. Nearly 20,000 veterans currently live in New Hanover County making it the fifth most populated veteran community in the state.
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