Surry Central High School will kick off the day’s events with a ceremony in front of the school at 10:30 a.m. The event will feature Hugh Wilkins, class of 1963, as the keynote speaker and students, visitors, families and community members are expected to attend.
“It will be a fairly short, to the point dedication in front of all the student body of Surry Central and all Surry Central graduates. It’s a fairly significant event for Surry Central,” said Lt. Col. Brian O’Connell, JROTC instructor at Surry Central.
The school’s 75 JROTC program students will be in uniform in front of the school. The color guard unit will present the colors during the playing of “Taps.”
The effort to construct the memorial started with Ron Phillips, class of 1965, and the Fallen Eagles Memorial Committee.
The memorial will honor three Surry Central High School students who have been killed in action in the military. The three honorees are Gerold Mounce, class of 1963, and Dale Gunnell, class of 1965, both of whom were killed during the Vietnam War, and Adam Marion, class of 2000, who was killed during the war in Iraq.
North Surry High School also will dedicate its new flag pole and memorial area on May 28 beginning at 1 p.m.
North Surry’s ceremony will begin with five jumpers from Paraclete Aviation in Raeford will parachute out of a plane and aim for the school’s baseball field with the new American flag. These jumpers are former Golden Knights and former world champion jumpers.
Following the jump, patrons will move to the front of the school where the memorial is located for the rest of the ceremony. The old flag will be lowered from the old flagpole as the National Anthem is played and the new flag will be raised on the new pole as “To the Colors” is played by Christian Hinkle, 1st Sgt. with the U.S. Army “Pershing’s Own” Band, on the trumpet.
This will be followed by a tribute to all the veterans and specifically to the North Surry fallen veterans. There will also be a 21-gun salute, the playing of “Taps” by Hinkle and a flyover by Air Force jets.
According to Lt. Col. John Bowes, with the North Surry High JROTC, there are seven names on the wall as of it being set on Friday. There are around 50 family members of those being honored planning to attend.
“This coming Friday is the beginning of our Memorial Day weekend. As a society, we have found a way to forget the word Memorial in Memorial Day. This ceremony is all about honoring those individuals that answered this nation’s call and many times gave their life,” said Bowes. “This is showing we appreciate that freedom. Our veterans gave us that. It’s having people think about the price that was paid so we can have the freedoms we enjoy today.”
Contact Morgan Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929.