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12Veterans Memorial ParkBill Green, adjutant quartermaster for Hope Mills Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10630, encourages everyone in Hope Mills to take time during Memorial Day weekend to honor the memory of those who died in service of this country, as well as those who served and remain as veterans or active duty members of the military. The Hope Mills Veterans Affairs Commission will again hold a special ceremony to remember the fallen on Memorial Day in Hope Mills. It will be held at the Veterans Memorial Park in Hope Mills near the Parks and Recreation Center on Monday, May 27, at 4 p.m.

In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved indoors to the recreation center.

“Memorial Day is to honor the sacrifices of our great men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice,’’ Green said.

The format for this year’s observance will follow a familiar pattern and feature things like the invocation and call to order, performances by a dance group, and speakers who were winners of an annual VFW contest. Hope Mills Mayor Jackie Warner will also read the official proclamation from the town.

There will be some special additions to this year’s observance, Green said. One will be a presentation by Hope Mills Commissioner Jessie Bellflowers, a former commander of the local VFW post. He will share some comments about the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion at Normandy, which will be officially observed in June.

Three nameplates will be added to the memorial at the park, honoring three members of the local VFW post who have died: Jim Clark, Joe Edwards and George Hill.

“Their families will be there so we can put nameplates on the memorial,’’ Green said. “This is just one way we can recognize them. When you put your name on a memorial, it’s there forever. This way, they are never forgotten.’’

It’s the act of remembering that’s most important to Green.

“You should take a brief moment ... and give thanks,’’ he said of the Memorial Day observance. “If it wasn’t for the veterans, (citizens) wouldn’t have the freedoms they have today. That’s what it all boils down to.’’

Warner thanked the Veterans Affairs Committee for all the hard work its members do in making the Memorial Day observance in Hope Mills possible.

“We have an opportunity to remember those that have served and also recognize the active duty (soldiers) and the veterans that live in Hope Mills,’’ she said. “It’s always a somber and very special event. It’s important for Hope Mills because of our military attachment here.’’

Warner especially praised the late Jim Clark for his years of service on the Veterans Affairs Committee in Hope Mills.

“If you needed something, especially if you needed something from the VFW, he was willing to get it done for you,’’ Warner said. “He was instrumental in helping me get the flags we used to recognize all the veterans the first time we did a field of flags in Hope Mills.

“He kept it alive and moved to get more veterans involved with different groups here in Hope Mills.’’

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