Memorial Day is a day to honor all of those who have died in America’s Wars. In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress, though it is still often called Decoration Day. Fayetteville is no stranger to the military and has lost many soldiers to war. The community routinely holds events to honor military members and their families and the month of May is the perfect time to reflect on the price that has been paid for our freedom.
The Fayetteville Downtown Alliance hosts the Field of Honor, which is a living display of heroism that flies as a patriotic tribute to the strength and unity of Americans. Paul Swenson is the creator of the Healing Field and the Field of Honor. He wants to acknowledge the scale of the sacrifice with a positive image that would offer hope and comfort. Every flag honors someone who is currently serving, those who have served and the men and women who have made the supreme sacrifice for our nation’s security and freedom. Each flag comes with its own story and displays a tag identifying the person who sponsored the flag and the flag honoree. This is the fifth year of the Fayetteville Field of Honor. The 2014 Field of Honor will fly May 10 through June 28.
On Monday, May 26, at noon there will be a Special Operations Forces K9 Memorial Ceremony at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum. The Special Operations Community would like to recognize and remember the canine soldiers killed in action. The dogs have saved countless lives and have earned a hero’s memorial. There is a memorial statute in honor of the fallen K9 heroes that were killed located at the museum.
The Army’s Army in partnership with the Fayetteville Area Convention will host an Eve of Remembrance, a two-day event, on May 20-21 leading up to Memorial Day honoring the 92,000 Americans taken as prisoners of war(POWs) since World War I. “The bravery and sacrifice of our country’s POWs deserves unmeasurable amounts of recognition and we are proud to be hosting an event in their honor,” said Janine West, Executive Director of the Army’s Army. The event kicks off with an invitation only VIP dinner on May 20 for surviving POWs as well as the premiere of the documentary, Never the Same: The Prisoner of War Experience, on May 21 at 7 p.m., followed by a live question and live panel discussion with the director and actors Loretta Swit and Ed Asner. The dinner will bring North Carolina POWs and out-of-town veterans that served during World War II and the Vietnam War to be recognized from their bravery and service. “We would like to thank those involved with the film, as well as our partners and sponsors for participating in this moving pre-Memorial Day tribute to POWs,” said West.
General admission is $12. A limited number of complimentary tickets for POWs, active duty soldiers, veterans, and military spouses are available at the Crown Box Office. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com, the Crown Box Office, or any Ticketmaster outlet. For more information call 483-5311.
On Monday, May 26, don’t miss the Memorial Day Ceremony at Freedom Memorial Park. It starts at 10 a.m. Visit www.freedommemorialpark.com for information.
Photo: There are events and celebrations honoring America’s fallen soldiers throughout the month of May in the Fayetteville area.