WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Memorial Day, hundreds of people in and out of uniform gathered at the Wilmington National Cemetery, reflecting on the the holiday’s importance.
“Turnout’s going to be great because of what it symbolizes,” said Marine veteran, Curtis Carlton. “A lot of them are dedicated, patriotic Americans, that have come to remember the sacrifices our soldiers have made.”
Monday morning, the City of Wilmington and New Hanover Garden Club unveiled a Blue Star Memorial. The memorials is meant to honor men and women who served in the armed forces, many of whom made the ultimate sacrifice. Soon after, the VFW held a memorial gathering for Vietnam War veterans.
Army veteran, Michael McCartan says the salute to fallen veterans can get overshadowed by the day off.
“It’s certainly fine to have a grill or have a get together,” McCartan said. “But you should take some time if you’re religiously inclined to say a prayer for them and for all they’ve done.”
He and New Hanover Garden Club member, Barb Bittler said it’s important to appreciate both the freedoms we have on Memorial Day, as well as the men and women who fought for them.
“I hope that they stop and think that every one of these markers in this very large cemetery stands for a young man or woman who went before us and was willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom that we have today,” said Bittler.