The courage and sacrifice exhibited over the years by countless of this country’s veterans on distant battlefields will be spotlighted Sunday at a special ceremony at Jack Laughery Park.
Organizers predict a turnout of more than 350 people for the annual Veterans Day Ceremony scheduled for 3 p.m. at the park’s veterans memorial.
“Veterans Day is for all veterans,” said Vince Tesoro, president of the Joint Veterans Committee of Nash & Edgecombe Counties. “This ceremony is about recognizing those veterans who fought and came back home to be able to enjoy the freedoms they fought for.”
Many ceremonies at the memorial leave people standing, but this weekend the city will furnish bleachers for the public, Tesoro said.
The event will include a flag raising, POW/MIA ceremony and words from U.S. Army Maj. Christian Drew.
Drew, an Iraq war veteran and professor of military sciences and tactics at N.C. Wesleyan College, earned the Combat Infantryman’s Badge for his efforts in engaging snipers in 2006 in Tal Afar, Iraq.
“(Drew) is a combat veteran who served in Iraq. He’s been in service for approximately 14 years now and is a motivated young man,” Tesoro said.
The ROTC program at N.C. Wesleyan College has grown from three to 45 members in the past 18 months because of Drew’s leadership, Tesoro said.
The ceremony will conclude with a rifle salute.
“This day is about patriotism and love of country,” Tesoro said. “It’s about teaching the American principles and traditions so that our children and their children will know the sacrifices made by veterans, and why they are able to have the freedoms they enjoy today.”